6 April 2015,Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 276, Unique Title
Announcement: Ancient Light is delayed due to the economy. You can read more about it at http://www.ancientlight.com. Ancient Light includes the second edition of Aegypt plus Sister of Light and Sister of Darkness. I’ll keep you updated.
Introduction: I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. This was my 21st novel and through this blog, I gave you the entire novel in installments that included commentary on the writing. In the commentary, in addition to other general information on writing, I explained, how the novel was constructed, the metaphors and symbols in it, the writing techniques and tricks I used, and the way I built the scenes. You can look back through this blog and read the entire novel beginning with http://www.pilotlion.blogspot.com/2010/10/new-novel-part-3-girl-and-demon.html.
I’m using this novel as an example of how I produce, market, and eventually (we hope) get a novel published. I’ll keep you informed along the way.
The four plus one basic rules I employ when writing:
1. Don’t confuse your readers.
2. Entertain your readers.
3. Ground your readers in the writing.
4. Don’t show (or tell) everything.
5. Immerse yourself in the world of your writing.
All novels have five discrete parts:
1. The initial scene (the beginning)
2. The rising action
3. The climax
4. The falling action
5. The dénouement
The theme statement of my 25th novel, working title, Escape, is this: a girl in a fascist island nation will do anything to escape–a young cargo shuttle pilot not following the rules crashes on the island.
I’ll make a slight digression because I’m developing advertising and publisher materials for my newest completed novel, Lilly. Here is the cover proposal for Lilly: Enchantment and the Computer.
If you are setting a title on a work yourself or your publisher asks you for ideas (assuming you don’t have a title already), here are some ideas for developing a title.
1. It needs to be pithy.
2. It needs to be marketable.
3. It needs to be short, but not too simple.
4. It needs to be unique, but not too unique. This is easy to check. Pick your title and make an internet search or make a search on amazon. If you get a thousand results for that title, your title is not unique enough. If you get a few that are similar or even one or two that are the same–especially outside the decade–the title might be about right. If you don’t get any results or any results that are books, you might be too unique.
The sweet spot is a few book related results. If you get no book related results, people won’t find your novel without putting in the specific name (and/or your name)–they can’t accidentally find your novel. In the world of the internet, accidental finds are what you can hope for. You can set up websites, and you can advertise, but the most effective finds are accidental. This is also why the title should represent the theme or a major idea in your novel. For example, Aegypt my novel about Egyptian ideas and concepts.
If you get way too many results with your title, the searcher will not be able to break your novel out of the crowd–plus who wants to have a title that is so similar or overused. Too unique is too much. Not unique enough is too much. There is also another consideration in looking at titles–similarity to negative works.
5. It should not be too similar to works with negative connotations.
6. It should encapsulate some measure of the theme.
At this point everything I’m doing with and for this work is about marketing to a publisher and building a website.