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Coming up with a title

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My epic poem / rhyming graphic chapter book is nearing a finished first draft, but it's still entitled "Storm Story - Work in Progress".

The storm was my starting point, but at this point, it is probably not the most important aspect of the story as a whole.

I guess I could call it "George and the XXXX", but somehow that seems a bit overdone, and even if I did go that route, I'm not sure which thing would be best to pick to fill the X's.

Is a finished title a "must have", or have people here successfully submitted manuscripts with working titles?

Also, has anyone got any tips on how to come up with a title?
#1 - November 11, 2017, 03:01 PM
Oliver Piotrowski

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You don't have to have the perfect title just yet. Lots of times the perfect title gets changed by the marketing dept. I look for words or a phrase from the ms itself that catches my attention.
#2 - November 11, 2017, 04:31 PM
TEN EASTER EGGS (Cartwheel/Scholastic, 2015)
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I'm actually the opposite, 01i,
When I start writing it's not too long before I look at the top of the page & think, hang on, I've no title, how do I stay on focus?
Most often, I look at the character & how they are integral to the plot. How are they feeling throughout? What are the situations they find themselves in? Is there something about them that would attract a reader on viewing the title that would make them say 'hey, that grabs me, I wonder what's inside...
Coming up with the title is the easy part for me...sometimes they can be a bit bonkers, but that seems to work.
Best of luck & keep us posted.
#3 - November 12, 2017, 05:39 AM

What do you think of "George's Journey" with a subtitle of "Beyond the Torchlit Stairway" ??
#4 - November 12, 2017, 08:29 AM
Oliver Piotrowski

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What do you think of "George's Journey" with a subtitle of "Beyond the Torchlit Stairway" ??

I really like the "Beyond the Torchlit Stairway" part. To be honest, if it were me, I'd skip "George's Journey" and just go with "Beyond the Torchlit Stairway" or maybe "Beyond the Torchlit Stair."
#5 - November 12, 2017, 08:36 AM

The phrase "torchlit stairway" comes from the poem.

Quote
And at the roots he found the glow,
A torchlit stairway, down below.

I suppose I could change it to staircase.

The 'George's Journey' part was to allow for future stories.
#6 - November 12, 2017, 08:48 AM
Oliver Piotrowski

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I wondered about the future stories. I can see why you'd want to start with "George's Journey."  I just think that "Beyond the Torchlit Stairway" is a much more evocative, memorable title. 

But maybe people with more experience can give you better advice -- I am really a noob at this.
#7 - November 12, 2017, 08:53 AM

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I just think that "Beyond the Torchlit Stairway" is a much more evocative, memorable title. 


I'm with Teresa.

#8 - November 12, 2017, 10:36 AM
TEN EASTER EGGS (Cartwheel/Scholastic, 2015)
www.vijayabodach.blogspot.com
Author of over 40 books and 60 magazine pieces

What's your opinion on whether stairway or staircase is a better sounding word?
#9 - November 12, 2017, 01:05 PM
Oliver Piotrowski

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Both work and I don't have a preference. Stairway reminds me of "Stairway to Heaven" so maybe Staircase is a better choice?
#10 - November 12, 2017, 06:07 PM
TEN EASTER EGGS (Cartwheel/Scholastic, 2015)
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I'm with Vijaya: Stairway sounds too much like Led Zeppelin's "Stairway To Heaven",  'George's Journey' reminds me of Roald Dahl's "George's Marvellous Medicine".
'Beyond the Torchlit Stairwell' has a good ring for me.
#11 - November 13, 2017, 05:40 AM

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If you'd like it a bit shorter, you could consider:  The Torch-lit Stairway
#12 - November 13, 2017, 04:05 PM
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o1i, my working title for LEARNING TO SWEAR IN AMERICA was IMPACT. Right before we went on sub, my agent told me to change the title. She said, "You need a title with more impact."

I said, "How is that even possible?"  :umm

I find it useful to make a brainstorming doc--flip through your ms and type in all the words that seem significant, whatever part of speech. No filtering or self censorship allowed. When you've got sixty or so words, start combining them. Most of your titles will be appalling, but that's okay--it'll give your friends something to laugh about.
 :goodluck
#13 - November 13, 2017, 05:45 PM
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I changed the title for my WIP three times before settling. It's no big deal. But you do need to submit with a title. It's just convenient to have a name.

I like Beyond the Torch-lit Stair. The extra syllable doesn't add anything. If you must have one, the "ch" in torch-lit competes with the "c" in staircase to me.  Think about the story and see if that fits or sends the wrong message.
#14 - November 13, 2017, 07:56 PM
« Last Edit: November 14, 2017, 08:33 PM by Debbie Vilardi »

Thanks :)

You guys have all given me a lot to think about.
#15 - November 14, 2017, 05:30 AM
Oliver Piotrowski

Rhyming Chapter Book - Critique Request
http://www.scbwi.org/boards/index.php?topic=85240.0

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