books / editing / novel / titles

What’s in a Title?

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I’m rewriting another manuscript. A few years ago, I thought this manuscript was done. I even gave it to people to read.

But the more I thought about it, the more unsure I became. I pulled the story out and started going through it again. Now, I’ve cut chapters, added one character and deleted another. I changed a plot line.

Since I let a few folks read the previous version, I want to change the title. If this second books gets published, they’ll think they already know it. They may not even have liked it because some parts definitely didn’t work (hence the rewrite). A new title might give the story a second chance. Titles are hard though.

F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote a list of several other titles for The Great Gatsby, including The High Bouncing Lover and Trimalchio of West Egg. His editor didn’t approve.

But this manuscript has had its title for so long, it’s hard to think of something else.

What books do you think have great titles? What about horrible ones? And if you’re a writer, how did you decide on your title?

One thought on “What’s in a Title?

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