Are Your Titles Any Good?

A rose by any other name might be lobelia.

“A good title should be like a good metaphor. It should intrigue without being too baffling or too obvious.”
Walker Percy

Special thanks to Susan Uhlig who posted this quote on her own blog.   It really made me think because I’m getting ready to send out a stack of manuscripts.  How do I put this gently?  Titles are not my thing.

That isn’t to say that none of my titles are any good.  I’m really happy with Wolf Guilt, Crab Dad and Rat Race.  But those are my middle grade and young adult titles.  My picture book titles are much less amazing.

The Princess in the  Garden solidly gives away the ending.  I get that but I’ve yet to come up with a title that I like better.

I liked Onward and Upward but it was a touch too mysterious.  Since this is a very character driven story, it became Fearless Felicity:  Onward and Upward.  It may go through one more change and become simply Fearless Felicity.

Cowboy College is so so but its wrong for the focus of the story.  Again, no better ideas have approached me out of the ether.

Zoo Staff is another monument to the so-so.  It became Zoo Crew which I like better but . . .

Off to do some more brainstorming.



2 thoughts on “Are Your Titles Any Good?

  1. Titles are impossible for me, although the title of my book coming out (sometime in this century I hope!) I came up with and it stuck. They added a subtitle but my TITLE is MINE. Can you believe it? I always think my titles are either too obvious or too vague–exactly what the quote is talking about. 😉

    1. Margo,
      I understand completely. Rarely, I instantly know the title of the manuscript and it sticks. Normally, I just call it something so that I can save the file.

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