Thursday, April 28, 2011

Twisted Titles

Day 28: Favorite Book Title

This was tough because I had to think of the titles and not the books themselves. But I decided on a trilogy. The Gemma Doyle Series. The titles Libba Bray chose I simply LOVE.

A Great and Terrible Beauty
Rebel Angels
The Sweet Far Thing


The cover artwork I think is wonderful too. The titles of the books capture the heart of the stories. Taking something wonderful (like beauty, angels, sweet, etc.) and twisting it. Beauty is wonderful and great as the  title says - but can be terrible as well. Angels are sweet and pure - but they've become rebels. Sweetness is there - but it's far away. If you read the books (and you should!) you'll understand how they suit the stories perfectly.

I'm going to take this time now to tell you how to NOT title a book.

To get inspiration for today's post I went to the bookstore and pursued the shelves for good book titles. They were few and far between, unfortunately. 

A book title should draw you in. It is the title and the book cover that initially make you want to pick it up and find out more. When I see a book title, I want it to whet my taste for what is inside the pages; leave me wanting more. 

Bad title example No. 1:

The Secrets of Tudor Court

When I see this title, I imagine this scene in my head. 

Dude 1: Hey, you know - that book The Other Boleyn Girl did pretty well.

Dude 2: Yeah...

Dude 1: And so did that TV show The Tudors.

Dude 2: Yeah...

Dude 1: So why don't we write a book about that time period and stick the name Tudor in there so EVERYONE will read it?

Dude 2: WHOA! You're so SMART!

Um.... no. Not so much. Fail. I loved the Other Boleyn Girl, and I enjoyed The Tudors. But they were actually good and not just jumping on the bandwagon. So I will not be reading your book when you throw the name "Tudor" in the title.

Bad title example No. 2:

Elizabeth and the King of Spain

So wait... let me guess... the book is about Elizabeth and the king of Spain?

Think of that title all by yourself did you?


Now, I know some titles state the obvious, and they need to on occasion. Take The Vampire Lestat for example. Yes, it's a pretty obvious title. But in essence it's a biography about Lestat, and he's a pretty self-centered vampire. So calling the book according to his name fits. 

When thinking of a title for your book - be creative with it. Make the reader think about why you name your book that. Make it something that when a person hears that title they think "Oh! That sounds interesting! Maybe I should check that one out."

What are some of your favorite book titles? What are your least favorite? What do you think makes a good or bad title for a book?

Crap... now I have to think of a title for this blog post. 

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