Titles Suck. In Fact the Title of This Blog Post Sucks

I have a confession to make. I’m becoming a damned good writer, but I suck at titles. There’s a reason for that. I put no thought into them. I started my writing career as a poet, and the names of my poems take on the order of 5 seconds of thought. With books, that’s not a good idea. That is why I solicited input for my 1st murder mystery.

Photo of showing businesswoman, isolated on whiteI got some good input and some ideas I like. Unfortunately, for most of the ones I like, I found similar titles of popular works. That doesn’t work. Another possibility, “Good Crows Don’t Die,” made a fellow writer burst out in song: “Goooood giiiirlls, don’t cri-i-i-i-ie…”

Point (well) made. Title dropped.

Anyway, I’m finding that I’m more a visual artist than an auditory one (probably atypical for a writer, but it explains my descriptive style). To narrow things down, I’ve started with my concept for the title. It has to pique curiosity; it should be short (a la Dashiell Hammett or Raymond Chandler); it should have visual appeal; and, it should actually relate to the book or people will feel cheated. All will have the subtitle “An Eddie Daley Mystery.” For instance:

Screen Shot 2013-09-04 at 7.18.17 PM

That’s not the best title, but it’s visually the most appealing because of the balance between the title and subtitle. I then made a list of 10 possibilities, and will probably pick the one I go the longest without hating. I still like “The Big Sleep,” but I think that one was taken. Anyway, here’s my list.

  1. The Crow Killer
  2. Mina Two Crows
  3. Killer Among Crows
  4. The Wrong Sister
  5. Brooklyn Daley
  6. The Turk Who Died
  7. The Brooklyn Trace (Current Favorite)
  8. The Death Fixer (sounds too Harry Potterish)
  9. Two Good Crows
  10. The Pickup Girl

I still hate writing titles. Writing books is easier. I need to get better at this. Eddie isn’t my first detective. That honor goes to Jeanne Dark (see my short story “Crazy Magnet.”) She’ll have her own book of short tales next. (If I don’t quit writing first, that is.)

UPDATE:

I think I might have found it. Simple, “Noiresque,” and it aligns with my original web serial’s title. See, with all artistic endeavors, it comes down to patience and persistence. Who knows, I may change my mind again, but at least I’m getting close. Now I can focus on whether I need to pull some scenes out of the book.

Eddietitle

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4 Replies to “Titles Suck. In Fact the Title of This Blog Post Sucks”

  1. I like your choice…it possesses mystery. What trace? Who are they tracing? You get the idea. If you don’t come up with something better I think that works well. It’s either that or you need to go with “Gumshoe Steps in It” (no, I’m not serious).

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