On being a writer...

A celebration of the writing process, of being a writer, of all the weird things that pass through a writing brain...

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Title title

Playing the title game again. Reading Kate Atkinson's Started Early, Took My Dog. She has great titles, confident, quirky, intriguing, just like her books. I think her titles have got better and better - Emotionally Weird was a great book but the title didn't grab. By the same token, I've never read: A Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time because the title simply puts me off. On the other hand, some titles almost are into pathetic fallacy territory - Jane Eyre - the choice of Eyre is just so wistful and mysterious, and Wuthering Heights. Good old Brontes.

So why can't I find a title? The title has got to sum up the essence of the book. The King's Speech (great film, great title) in itself is pretty dull, but 'king' is evocative and of course the pun in speech is perfect. I want to be snappy and suggest period and mystery. Ho hum. I have a feeling there's a title peering at me just below the surface.

Watch this space.


  1. Just found your blog! And what a lovely blog layout it is, Katharine! Yes, titles can make you want to buy a book or turn you off a book completely, as can a cover design (sad though this is, we should not judge a book by its cover, we all know that, but we often do.) Hope the French Revolution-set novel is progressing. And hope you are over your post-Christmas bug - we've all had one, too; not pleasant. Still coughing. Hope the bugs have not spread to this comment - that would give a whole new meaning to computer viruses.
    Margaret P

  2. Lovely to hear from you, Margaret P, and I hope you'll soon stop coughing. You're right, we do judge a book by its cover, but it's only a first impression, like the coat someone's wearing. Can be make or break with a book, though..