Thursday, March 8, 2012

Titling Your Novel

I just finished re-titling a romantic mystery at a publisher's request as well as coming up with a title for the romantic suspense I'm writing now.  Having gone through the titling process several times before this, I'm sharing some ideas I've discovered to make it simpler and fun. 

My romantic suspense novel is set in Amsterdam and I wanted Amsterdam in the title to attract agents, editors, and readers who look for international settings.  The first titles that came to my mind were Murder in Amsterdam and Death in Amsterdam.  Way too generic and probably already taken but a starting place.

Although my purpose wasn't to steal a title from another writer, I went to and typed in Amsterdam and mystery. Screens of books came up and I jotted down a number of titles I liked and found interesting.  Most of the mysteries involved experienced male police investigators, nothing like my young female amateur sleuth.  It didn't matter that the characters and plots were totally different from mine.  Reading the variety of titles was stimulating and inspirational, plus I wanted to steer clear of any titles that were currently on the market.  As I guessed, Murder in Amsterdam and Death in Amsterdam were already out there!

I wanted a title that was original, catchy, and unique to my plot.  To my list of words to include in the title besides Amsterdam, I added other words as they came to me.  I looked at the list from time to time, deleting words and adding new ones.

Pretty soon I put some of those words together and came up with the perfect title that fits my romantic suspense set in Amsterdam.



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