I Need a Better Title


I got a message from a fellow writer today telling me she thought I should change the title of my first novel, "An Urge to Kill." She said: "In this killing world, many parent's may not agree with your title and you may be turning off some publishers."

Now, I think I have to agree with her. My only problem with that is I totally suck when it comes to creating titles. She gave me some suggestions: "The Merciless Bridge? Or maybe, Mark's Verdict? Or The Jeering Bridge? Or The Taunting Bridge? Or The Bridge of Ridicule? After all, this bridge keeps taunting Mark right?"

To me, none of those ideas capture the essence of my novel. Neither does "An Urge to Kill," for that matter. She said she likes my original title. But I'm not even sure I can remember what that was - I've given it so many titles over the past few years. Maybe she means "Bridge to Destiny," or "Sweet Revenge," or "The Bridge Beckons." Probably not "Sweet Revenge." That sounds too violent too.

Problem is, I've used all of them at one time or another to query agents. Would agents still remember them and think my novel is still that same piece of pulp that they rejected several years ago? I've made many changes to the novel. It's grown, matured if you will, thanks to my great critique partners at "Writer's Pen" in the "Authors by Design" writer's on-line forum. Maybe it's time to try out one of the old titles again. One that better suits the essence of the novel without giving away the plot.
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About Paul West

Paul West is a freelance writer and novelist. Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Paul claims to be a "Prune Picker," though he now makes his home in Taylorsville, Utah.

You can follower him on Twitter: @PaulWWest

Published: Thursday, January 12, 2012

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