Historical and Contemporary Romance Author

The Title Battle

While I’m waiting to hear back on the proposal my agent has out on an exclusive right now, I’m noodling on other ideas in case it doesn’t go (which realistically, it may not because it’s a pretty quirky book).

In addition to my middle grade book (which I’m writing when I find the time, although that hasn’t been often lately), I’ve been thinking about several other stories:

  • An action/adventure/superhero-y YA  for which I have a main character, title, blurb, and hints of the plot, but nothing “writable” yet.
  • A contemporary with a suspense element; again, characters, title, blurb and hints of plot, but probably not yet writable.
  • A dark, angsty historical for which I have a lot that’s arguably writable (characters, plot, conflict) but for which I don’t have a title. And I hate trying to write a book without knowing what the title is!

I know it’s an odd hang-up, but it’s one I can’t shake. I pretty much always tackle writing a manuscript in this order: Title, Hook, Book. Of course, that’s not to say the title always comes to me before the hook (or blurb), but usually writing the blurb/thinking about the story will suggest the title very quickly. And many times, I get the story idea from the title (the contemp I’m thinking about started as a title and the story suggested itself from the title).

Anyway, before I can take my historical idea any further, I really need to settle on a working title, even if it doesn’t stick (although my hope is that it does stick at least until the point at which I send it to my agent and she sells it–then the publisher can toss it out the window, lol).

So, here are the three titles I’m considering. None of them strike me as 100% “right”–each seems to me to have its problems–but I’d love your impressions of the possibilities. Unfortunately, though, I can’t seem to get the “Insert Poll” option to work and place the poll inside of this post, so you’ll have to vote on the possibilities in the sidebar. (Sorry about that–there seems to be a scripting error somewhere, and I have no idea how to fix it!)

Thanks for stopping by and thanks in advance for voting. And if I get really motivated, I might even get up a WTF Wednesday post for today.


  • kellykrysten July 29, 2009 at 11:15 am

    No clue why, but Tainted By Scandal had me instantly springing to attention. I would DEFINITELY buy any book with that title-prolly says bad things about me that I occasionally pick books up solely based on cover/title.lol.

    This could technically work as a WTF Wednesday post. Like, WTF is wrong with authors that write without a title?lol. PS: I AM a writer that NEVER knows the title first and I haven’t met anyone else like me in this area, so the whole blog would be about me.*g*

  • Leigh July 29, 2009 at 11:43 am

    I never know my title either. My cp came up with it, thank god.

    I voted for ‘Mistress of his Heart’ because I am a sap.

  • B.E. Sanderson July 30, 2009 at 7:45 am

    The WIP I’m writing currently has no title, just a filename that has no meaning. I’ve never not had a title before, so this feels a little weird, but I’m going with the flow. Here’s hoping something jumps out at me by the time it’s finished.

    I voted for Paradise, but I think you’re right – none of them seem to have that zing. I’d send it out with one and hope for the best. The publisher will change it anyway, right?

  • Chloe Harris July 30, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    I’ve learned not to worry about it. I got very attached to the original title for Secrets of Sin and when Kensington insisted on changing it I was heartbroken.

    But to answer your question I really like Tainted by Scandal.


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