I've often wondered how writers/editors come up with book titles, especially fiction. I've heard that using one word for the title is best. I've gone from four words (If Truth Be Known) for my first book, to two words (For Benny) for my second, and now I am down to one word (Dirt) for my current book.
I find that one word titles catch my attention on the shelf more so than several words. Maybe it's the not knowing what it is all about that makes me pick up the book, or maybe it is so catchy that I am drawn to it.
Does anyone out there have an opinion about this. How about the reasoning behind how you decide on your own titles? Let me know what you think. In fact, let's have a little survey. Do you like one - two -or three+ words in a novel title?
An interesting question...As long as the words in the title aren't superfluous, then I quite like slightly longer titles. I don't know why, but I always imagine one-word titled books to be the result of an author trying to be 'edgy'. That obviously isn't the case I hasten to add, and I don't know where my subconscious got it from, but there you are. (I've got to confess that I have a fair few written pieces with one word titles).
When you consider the length of the title 'The curious incident of the dog in the night time', and then consider just how popular that book is, I'd argue that longer titles capture attention just as much, if they're worded right.
I don't really have a preference. For me, the cover graphics tend to be more important than the title.
~Sara, from Inspired-Quill
Actually I have never thought about it until now. I have to say it doesn't make a bit of differance to me. I am trying to think of any books that I have read with a one word title. Aside from Twilight (which I read at the insistance at a friend - I didnt pick it up on my own) none come to mind. There has to be some though.
I look at titles to get a feel for a book before pulling it down from the shelf and I wonder if the one word titles I just skip over as I don't get any feel for them at all from just that one word. I dont know. When I hit the libaray on Friday I will try to keep this in mind.
I have to admit, the one word titles catch my eye. They make me wonder what the story is about. The idea of less being more, I guess. Think of the Wake / Fade / Gone series. Outside of that, I probably at least prefer short titles of no more than three words...Hunger Games, Garden Spells, Tender Graces.
But there is something to be said for the long strange catchy titles...if done right they make me want to see what that's about too. Like Sara-Jayne mentioned "'The curious incident of the dog in the night time" -- well, that is different enough to tweak my curiosity!
My first book was A Little Salty, and my current one is Seeing Alex. Neither was much of a thought process, they were just there. But I always know my character's names and the working title right off the bat, before I even start writing the story. That's just the order of how it comes to me. The titles could change one day if they ever get published, but for now they are what they are.
Glad to have found this place! Very cool.