Titling is harder than noveling

My debut novel is done. It's been done for years. It's been drafted and re-drafted. Darlings have been killed and darlings have been brought into the light. It's been through the grinder with my awesome agent and is about to be subjected to the discerning eye of an equally-awesome editor.

Through it all, it kept the same, place-holding title it started out with.

It was called BLUE DAHLIA. I called it that because the protagonist is named Dahlia and.. well, she's sort of blue. Not inventive. Not what I liked. But I assumed it would do the job until I found something better. 

 

I never found anything better. 

 

I'm not known for pith or brevity. I need more than 140 characters to make a point and/or amuse you. I can just manage to reign myself into short story length pieces, but I prefer the breathing space of a novel. 

Titling is the height of pith and brevity. You need to hint at what the story holds without giving too much away, but it also needs to be something that grips the reader. It should be something that will make someone stop in a bookstore and say, What the heck is that about??

I get title envy ALL THE TIME! 

Black Swan Green, The Shock of the Fall, Lincoln in the Bardo, A Visit from the Goon Squad, Bring up the Bodies... and so many more.

I wonder if those writers go through the same sort of hell, or if the title just comes to them...

In any case, a few (brilliant) heads are now on the case, so I expect the issue of the title to be resolved very soon. 

Maybe I can just call it THE NOVEL YOU'RE ABOUT TO READ

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