Recently I sent in a short story to my publishing company and it was accepted. Before I could even send it in however I needed to come up with a name for it. Some of you may be thinking, well its your book, you’ve been slaving over it for how long? For me naming a book is not easy at all. My books come to me as ideas and as I type they become a story. I don’t plot out what I want to happen in my book (even when I try to it changes). I have tried to explain to my husband my process of writing before, which isn’t really a process at all. My charterers tell me what they want to do. They tell me what they should be saying. If I try to force them into a situation they don’t want to be in they stop talking to me.
Now everyone of you out there is thinking ‘ok this woman is nuts’ however I’m really not, promise. For me writing just comes. I sit at my computer and start with the idea I had in my head, usually the main person in my story. I think about what I want them to be doing and from there it takes off. My person forms themselves in my mind. They take on a life of their own with their own personality and way of speaking that sometime I shock myself that I’ve managed to come up with it. When I go back and read my stories sometimes I can’t even remember typing the words. They flow so quickly from my fingers I often have to stop for a moment and read over what I just wrote, usually correcting spelling errors that I’ve made.
So the question remains, how do I name my books? Usually somehow there is a common theme when the book is finished and I go back to read and add more to it. Most of the time I don’t even know I had put one in. When I notice it I add it a few more places to make it jive with the title I have now realized the book should be called. To me titling a book is the last step and I hate to do it. I would love to just write a story and send it to someone to read and they could come up with a name for me. I’m sure they would be much better at coming up with something eye catching and witty than myself. I think of myself as clever when I write but most people don’t get my humor.
I have learned recently that some people come up with a title to a book and build a story around the title. I don’t know how they can do it. My story changes so often, even for Finding Samantha that is coming out soon I had no idea what it was going to be called until right before I sent it in. That book went through so many changes as I wrote it. It is now a third person narrative but I had originally wrote it as a first person. How someone can come up with a name and build a story around it boggles my mind. I guess there are people out there who don’t understand how I can just write and not have a clue what it’s going to be about when I start though. Just goes to show you there are millions of ways to write a book. Just because I don’t do it the same way as someone famous, like say Laurell K. Hamilton, doesn’t mean she’s any better than me or I’m any better than her (though in my opinion she is much better than myself, maybe because she has had years of experience) It just means we have different writing styles and will appeal to different sets of people, maybe some of they same if they aren’t too picky, I’m a pick one myself.
So I will continue to write my way with no real structure to my writing and hope that ideas keep coming, and the names of the stories will keep appearing in the writing. If it doesn’t come to me by the time I have to send it in maybe I can send it to my sisters. They wouldn’t mind reading it over for me. Anyone out there write? If so how do you come up with titles? Do you know what the book will be called first or, like me, do you struggle to name your masterpiece?