Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Trends in Titles

There has been a recent craze with one-word titles.  Most probably because of Twilight and the sequels (thought the last is two words.  I can only assume she ran out of one-word ideas).  Everywhere I look, they're popping up.  Twilight, Envy, Evermore, Divergent, Possession, Levithan, Graceling, Evernight, Hourglass, Delirium.

So what makes a good title?  A good title is something that hooks you, pulls you in and has you asking questions, making you as the reader want to, well, read on.  The best title I've heard in awhile was Anna Dressed in Blood.  That title is soooo intriguing.  Why is she dressed in blood?  I just have to knooow.  It hooks me even before I've started reading.  I haven't been able to read it yet but it is on the tippy top of my to-read pile.  I was also really interested in The Forest of Hands and Teeth.  It's really great imagery, leaving such a clear picture in my head.  Also an amazing book.  The sequels, The Dead-Tossed Waves and The Dark and Hallow Places are awesome titles.  I wish I knew how she came up with titles...

That's why I'm not really into the one-word titles.  Possession, which is probably the most interesting to me of the one word titles, is still vague and doesn't give me any kind of picture of what the book will be about.  I want something a little more telling and a little more hooky.  My WiP is called Code of the Firefly.  I've had a few people say that they liked that title and I've had a person say it sounded too Middle Grade.  Originally it was called Fireflies but in my novel group, everyone kept mixing up which book it was or forgetting the title; that was when I knew I had to change it to something that would stick better in people's mind.  I'm not sure if I'm completely there yet but I'm also told not to get too attached to titles because they always get changed anyways :)


  1. I hadn't really picked up on the one-word title craze, but now I definitely see it.

    I really like titles that evoke the story. But they can be hard. My last MS was born in my mind with the perfect title. My WiP is MUCH harder.

    You can always just thinking of Code of the Firefly as a working title!

    1. Good points. I've noticed the one-word-craze and was leaning heavily toward using only one word for my title. After reading the list of titles you provided, I see what you mean about one-word not carrying enough weight. You gave me some stuff to think about.

    2. Hi Teralyn! Thanks for stopping by! I also liked one-word titles until I realized I kept mixing them up. I think if those authors had just gotten one more word to add to the title to make it more descriptive, it would have been better. Envious of what? I haven't read Envy, but adding one more word, even Blue Envy, I think is more intriguing. Just my thoughts; hope it helped :/