Writing & Publishing

Titillating Titles and Times

The more I read The Guide, the more I start to realize just how big of an undertaking I’ve bitten off. This is going to be a lot of hard work; like having-a-second-part-time-job lot of hard work. But that’s okay. I’m not sure who said it, but my favorite quote goes: “Nothing worth doing in life is ever easy.”

I’m still trying to build my e-presence and I’ve been looking into different writer’s sites to join so I can get my work out there and have it read and critiqued by other writers. I just joined Critique Circle, which is exactly what it sounds like it is, and I’m pretty pumped about it. I found out about it from Writer’s Digest 101 Best Websites for Writers. I’ve also looked into a couple of writer’s workshops coming to DFW but those bad boys are super expensive. Everything I read though, says I should attend workshops and conferences. My creative writing professor also highly recommended them and gave me this advice: “Just don’t be weird. Publishers and literary agents attend these and they deal with so many weird people all the time that you’re likely to make a much more memorable impression if you’re normal. Please don’t wear a cape or speak Elvish.”

Yeah, I think I can handle that.

The current section I’m on of The Guide is called Getting Titular (get your minds out of the gutter, people). It’s all about the importance of a book’s Title. Your title has to grab people’s attention. Make them go, “Hmmm, I wonder what that’s about.” And it has to be interesting/salable enough to entice a publisher to read past the by line. I don’t doubt the importance of titles. Many a time have I picked up random books at bookstores simply because they had an intriguing title, and passed over others because they sounded stupid. That said, I always have a really hard time coming up with titles. I’ll have a story completely written and revised and read by others before I have a title. Usually, since I’m so inspired by music, I end up naming my story after lyrics in a song….which could possibly be plagiarism…I’m not sure…I’ll have to check in to that.

I will reveal to you that the title of my novel, the one that I will be submitting for publication so long as no one tells me it sucks in the meantime, is A Mouth Full of Teeth. I think it’s awesome of course, but I have been known to be a tad delusional. The title came from lyrics of the song “Crumbs From Your Table” by U2. I was listening to their album several years ago when I was still living at home and sun tanning in the back yard, when I heard  the lyrics “With a mouth full of teeth you ate all your friends,” and I was so struck by the imagery and power of those words that I thought, One day I am going to use that as a title for something I write. And then a few months ago I was looking at my finished manuscript going, “What the eff am I going to call this thing?” when I remembered the cool little title I had kept in my back pocket. Hopefully everyone else thinks it’s cool too, but if it is lame I do need to know that, so hit me up.

This week I’m going to share a fiction piece with you, and I’m pretty excited about it. It’s a 10 page short story, and since it’s so long I’m thinking I’ll break it up over multiple posts so you don’t have to sit there and scroll and scroll and scroll forever and anon. I don’t want you to wear out that little wheel thingy on your mouse between the left and right-click buttons. That would be tragic.

So, dear reader, what makes you pick up a book you see at the bookstore/library?

Thanks for reading! 🙂

2 thoughts on “Titillating Titles and Times

  1. There is tons of reason why a person would check out/buy a book. For me, it can be a favorite writer, or sometimes a book recommended by a friend. If I'm feeling like going wild I might randomly search through the stacks for some book that has catchy cover art(the funny bit about that is the publisher usually picks the cover art, with some input by the writer). Of course I check the the back of the book to see what its all about. Now if it has praises from people on the back, I'll toss that paper weight back in the stack(people who have to use praises to sell a book is usually selling a giant brick and trying to paint it gold) Lastly, I'll ask the librarian what is a popular book that is checked out/bought in a specific genre. Even though they are commonly apathetic about my question. They wonder why normal people do not go to public libraries.

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