From my writer’s notebook: the search for a title

So this is one of my lists of possible titles for What Can’t Wait. Lots of clunkers here, but that’s part of the process.

How did I finally choose the title? I did a lot of title-generating exercised, asked friends for their opinions, studied titles that I like, and thought long and hard about what a title should do and how it should relate to the story. 

Lulu.com is a fun tool for analyzing the potential success of a title, which I did use when I was thinking about titles. Part of what I like about Lulu.com is that you actually have to analyze the parts of speech in the title. That might throw some people, but my English major came to my rescue (three cheers for grammar)! 

LuLu Title Scorer listed the likeliness of bestseller success (really the similarity of the title to the title profile of books that have been a success in the past) as follows:

What Can’t Wait: 44.2%

Mariposa’s Flight:  76.9%

Borrowing Tomorrow: 79.6% 

Simple and True: 26.3%

Hang On: 20.1%

Hard Road from Houston: 26.3%

Clearly lulu.com was not my top authority, because What Can’t Wait ended up being the winner even though it didn’t get the highest lulu score. Of course, lulu can’t tell you if a given title is a good fit for the novel you’ve written; a great title is not so great if it doesn’t go with the story. Naming a book = hard work.

 

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