Tuesday, September 11

What's in a Name?

Soooo...yesterday my friend, CP and blogmate, Liz, talked about titles on her post. She had to change some of hers. So far, I've been really lucky. I've been able to keep almost all of mine. I was honestly kind of amazed when Jennifer Lawler said Crimson liked Wild Horses, my first release. I had expected to have to change the name.

Like most writers, I get pretty attached to my titles.

This book, Vaquero, was originally called Branded. In this story, Cordero Ybarra is branded on his shoulder by two racists. This title fit. I loved it.

Unfortunately, my editor at Siren did not. Well, not entirely true. She loves it...just not for my book. Another author already snagged MY title! I had to change it.

Argh! What to do?

Cordero Ybarra is Spanish. He's a cowboy. Aha moment!

Vaquero--the Spanish word for cowboy.

I'm not going to lie, I like Branded better. I still call this book that most of the time, but Vaquero is growing on me. I like it pretty well. It works.

Vaquero.

I have always loved titling my books. I often take a line from the manuscript for the title. Such as Dance the Dance, Shoot the Moon, Rope the Moon, etc, etc.

Which brings me to my current WIP. It is the story of a small town sheriff and an undercover FBI agent, both on the trail of a serial killer. I cannot title this manuscript to save my soul. Okay, maybe that's a little over the top, but seriously, I cannot find the right title for this book.

I thought I'd found it the other day--Hell or High Water.

Then I Googled it. Ha! Only about 50 other books with that title. Back to square one.

Have you ever been so stuck without a title you can't think? What did you do? And, if you have a great title for my WIP, I'm all ears.




51 comments:

  1. As you already know, I'm ALWAYS stuck. :-)

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    1. I like your titles, yours and your pubs' just fine!

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  2. I liked the title Branded too and I admit, I still think of it that way. But Vaquero is good!

    I'm crap with titles. Most of the time I just end up called them after a character so they at least have a name on my hard drive. I have one called Decker because I never came up with a good name and the hero is called Decker or Deck, so that's it so far.

    The Treasure Hunter's Lady was The Rainbow Serpent for a long time because I'm just no good. It wasn't until I had a pretty solid idea for The Sky Pirate's Wife that I was like, duh, treasure hunter, wannabe lady. I actually hit my head pretty hard on a beam outside our barn before I came up with that, so I think the bump helped. :)

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    1. I like your titles! I liked the Rainbow Serpent a lot!

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  3. You had to go and touch on this topic right now. As you know, I just had to change a title of one of my books--the title that I love, love, loved. Yes, I'm having title withdrawals. Oh well!

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    1. I'm sorry, Jerri. I liked your title, too.

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  4. I had to change the title on my latest release and at first wasn't thrilled, but the 2nd title has grown on me and I'm happy with it. But I do have a story that I've finished and it's had about 5 titles so far. I finally settled in on the last one, but have since discovered that there are 4 other books with that title...so back to the drawing board. It's a tough decision. I like to take a line or something that ties in close with the story too, but nothing is jumping out at me on this one.

    Good luck with yours D'Ann...I'm sure you'll get that AHA moment (more than likely when you are on the verge of sleep...lol)

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    1. I keep thinking one will jump out at me, Christine. But nada so far. I want something unique, but not sappy!

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  5. I had to change the title on my very first published book because the publisher already had a book with MY title. It was a western historical romance. I'd been calling it Leather & Lace, which fit perfectly. Had to come up with another. Hubby suggested Rawhide Surrender. I wasn't crazy about it, but it grew on me. Then when I got my rights back and decided to revise and re-release it as an ebook I figured I could use my original title. But guess what, I decided I wanted something new. Ended up with Her Wild Texas Heart.

    I'm always coming up with great titles - just don't always have a story to go along with them - so I keep a file of titles on the chance that someday I'll use them.

    Good luck with your title search. :-)



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    1. Is this the one where we share the cover model? Maybe we should share a title. Kidding, of course! LOL

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  6. Titles usually come to me in a blast...but rarely when I really need them. Usually I call my books by one character or another's name until that lightbulb flash happens. I had to change my title for What a Texas Girl Wants...at first I was freaked, now I love it.

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  7. I'm horrible with titles. I come up with a good story idea, love it, but come up short when it comes to titles. Some ideas and WIPs, I have titles for, and some I don't. And it's difficult now because so many titles are overused, it's not easy to come up with something a little more unique. And it's frustrating beyond belief! I'm wondering if I want to keep my title for the Christmas novella I'm almost finished with. I have it as The Secret Santa Wishing Well, because the hero has a seasonal job as a Santa with a wishing well. A different spin on the Santa's that stand out there ringing the bell hoping for donated change. Anyway, I keep playing with the idea and haven't come up with anything else. I think good titles, or titles along, are one of the hard parts of writing a book at times, lol.

    Good luck! Sorry I'm no help, but I did want to comment :)

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    1. I think holiday stories are especially hard to title! Thanks for coming by!

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  8. Titles are tricky. No doubt about it. Stubborn Hearts had four other titles before I settled on this one. Small town cop and FBI agent. Hmm. Do they work together or are they in a race to see who gets the killer first? That might help us to come up with a title or two. Great blog, btw.

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    1. I like Stubborn Hearts! They work together.

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  9. I had to change my title to for my paranormal story with Crimson Romance. My original was Becquer Eternal and Jennifer thought the reference to the romantic Spanish poet would be lost for Americans.
    After some back and forth, I decided to call it Immortal Love, stealing the idea from Dickinson's quote: “Unable are the loved to die. For love is immortality.”

    As for your title what about: Truth Undercover?

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    1. hmmm...that might work! I like the change you made. It's good!

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  10. Next to commas, the thing I like least is coming up with a title.

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    1. I hate commas, too! You have great titles, Daryl!

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  11. I'd have to know more about your WIP before I could come up with titles for you.

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  12. I've only had to change the title of one book at the advice of my editor. And as a result, I had to change the titles of the other books in the series. I will admit, I LOVE the title Gambling on a Secret and the whole gambling theme since the town and the three families in these books are tied to the three founding fathers who won the county land in a poker game---But that book will always be Butterfly to me (no matter how non-Western it sounds...LOL.) And I was almost giddy when I saw it used in a sub-title for the book, because it means so much to the theme of the book.

    However, the second book of the series, which now is Gambling on a Heart, was a book that I could never find the right title for---until Gambling on a Heart...It is so perfect it's almost scarry.

    After about 10 rewrites, I decided to change the title for The Long Road Home (which has been used numerous times, even Danielle Steele has a book by this title). When Heartstrings came to me, I had one of those aha moments. I changed the title before I submitted it the last and final time.

    As for Austin and Jamie's story--- I'm drawing a blank as much as you are. Maybe we should do some brainstorming.

    Great blog, D'Ann...

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  13. I love thinking up titles!!! I've been lucky so far but I still have a book that I'm waffling on the title for. Just can't seem to get that one right because it has to have the right feel.

    Luckily, Crimson has let me keep my titles. I only changed one word in the second book to go along with the first. Woot!!!

    If you DM me on FB, I can try to help you out. But would love to have more information about the characters and plot first. ;)

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  14. I haven't had to change a title. But with my 5 book military romance series, I started with: A Soft Place to Fall. My intention was to use the theme and have all the titles follow the pattern A ____ Place to ______. Doh. It became more and more challenging as each book was finished. By the last one, I went with THE Last Place You Look. Yikes.

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  15. I haven't had to change a title by request, but before I submitted Only Scandal Will Do to agents last year I knew I needed a new title. Even my 15 yr old daughter said "The Marquess Makes a Mistake" was a sucky title. LOL So I sat down and brainstormed titles. Wrote down every significant word having to do with the book, then picked out scandal as the key word I wanted to use. Lots of romances with "scandal" in the title. And just played around with it until the phrase "only scandal will do to bring them together" popped into my mind. That one was the winner.

    But as I said in my post early in the summer, there's always the romance novel title generator if you're really stuck. LOL

    Hang in there, D'Ann! It'll come to you!

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    1. I love that title! Your daughter is smart!

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  16. You'll "feel" the perfect title, you always do. And I, for one, cannot wait to see what it is.

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    1. Thanks for the faith!! I'll keep searching.

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  17. Titles are totally not my thing. I wish I could come up with something to help, but I really suck as it. I'm sure it'll come to you soon though. You other works have great titles to me, so it'll happen again.

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  18. My advice is to give it time. It will come. Best of luck, D'Ann!
    -R.T. Wolfe
    Black Creek Burning, September 24

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    1. I have to say the title of your book makes me want to read it.

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  19. The title *Craving Kristin* was perfect for my book because the heroine, Kristin, has two guys and a gal lusting after her. Editor didn't like it and suggested three other titles, all which played up the fact that the hero is Irish, but gave me free rein to come up with others. I gave her a laundry list of names I could live with, and together we chose the one: *She Likes It Irish*. Good thing we changed the name...I've since seen several books out there with the name Craving ____ (fill in the name). D'Ann, give us a bit more of what your WIP is about and we'll toss you some ideas! Sophia

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    1. I like your title a lot! More on what my books is about later.

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  20. Never had to change a title. As soon as I get a story in my head, the title comes with it. Except now. Not a clue what I'm going to call Ella's story. It's also why I'm finding it harder to write than anything else I've written.

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  21. My titles usually come as I'm rereading the book to get it ready to send in. A line will jump out at me and that's usually the title.

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  22. Some of my pieces started out with a title. "Taken by Storm" was a change the editor asked for, but I came up with it. It's set in the desert, so my fifteen-year-old son wanted to call it, "Doin' It in the Dunes." Nice! (read with sarcasm)

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    1. LOL I like Doin' it in the Dunes! Seriously, a desert story? I'm in!

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  23. Thanks, everyone, for dropping by! I think I may have a title it contest. Been considering it anyway.

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  24. Adored the cover art! Hm, how about Desperado, or Tumbleweed?

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  25. Yeah, I've totally been there. I titled my first published novel "The Trooper and the Storm Chaser", but it just seemed a little too ... romance novel-y. Which, hey -- it's a romance. I ended up shortening it to Storm Chaser and that's how it came out, but now I think that was too generic: There were already books in other genres by that name.

    The working title for my related short story collection was "Storm Chaser Shorts", and I never could come up with anything better that connected, so that's how it came out ... but I still don't really like that title.

    The novel length sequel (partially finished) was to be "Storm Damage", but although I like the idea of related titles, I just never took to it. For now I've changed the working title to "The Notorious Ian Grant", as the story is all about a Hollywood celebrity who sweeps into town and disrupts the lives of the characters from the first book. We'll see.

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  26. I struggle with titles, that said, I have a few I really like. Whether they will survive the publishing process is another question.

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  27. Titles are my weak point! I'm not good at them. I guess if a publisher wants my book I'll let them call it whatever the heck they want, lol! But, I did like 'Branded' because it fit so well, but Vaquero is sexy!!

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  28. I find titling my books difficult, too, and it gives me some anxiety. Readers JUDGE by a title, and I want it to grab their attention. Stress. My goodness.

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