What’s in a name? The Quest For The Perfect Title

When it comes to titles, I can assure you I’ve had a tough time.

Back in the beginning Duty & Death’s title was entirely different (I think this is the fourth title it’s had), but then again, back in the beginning, it was one book, not five.

Up until a few months ago, it was only four. When I split D&D in half I suddenly realized that I would have to find a new title for the second half… my initial thought was “Crap.” But that’s no good for a title.

I had a few thoughts for the (now) third book, but they definitely wouldn’t work - very specific to that novel – drat, no cannibalizing. The potential title came to me as I was working through revisions last week.

“Living With the Enemy”

Granted, this is just a working title and is subject to change, but what do you think?

My second novel was a bit easier to title. Typical, isn’t it? The works that I’m not as proud of/don’t intend to pursue publication on at the present are the ones with easy titles. Don’t get me wrong, the original title was “The Demon Soul,” but then I found out that it was already the title of a novelized adaptation of WoW. Don’t get me wrong. I used to play an MMO, there’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s not the connotation that I am going for. So it changed to Forfeit Souls. I think it was a change for the better.

My third novel didn’t have a title for the longest time it wasn’t until a major revelation with the plot that I realized the perfect type of title for it and it became “For the Birds” however, this didn’t last and it’s now “Magic is for the Birds”. Once again, this is a novel with a wonderful name that I don’t want to pursue first. (love the genre, I just can’t see myself going anywhere with it.)

My current WIP has two titles. The one that is like my friend Greta’s name for her fish – Fish – and the one I made up before I’d locked down most of the plot – so it doesn’t make sence.

Most of the time I call it “Space Opera” and worry about what I’ll actually call it once it’s finished and I have the energy to think of something clever. Occasionally though, I still call it by its original title. “The Nine Lies of Calliope Druthers” this however brings to mind the novel, “The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch” and it’s really not a novel that I want associated with mine. They’re too different.


  1. I hear you. Wait until you have kids. Everyone will have an opinion. It's either too old or too new or too common or too uncommon or, in one case, "too metropolitan", whatever that means.

  2. I love Duty and Death. I think it was a great progression. Then again, Crap has a nice ring to it.

  3. Crap is perfect! I shall rename it post haste!


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