Wednesday, June 6, 2018

IWSG: Book Titles vs Character Names


Time flies and here we are again! It's the first Wednesday of the month when our Insecure Writer's Support Group writer's tribe make the rounds to visit, touch base, share and support our fellow writers. 

If you'd like to join, go HERE

Thanks to our host Alex Cavanaugh and this month's co-hosts who make sure every one of us feels special: Beverly Stowe McClure, Tyrean Martinson, Tonja Drecker, and Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor!

This month's optional question is:


What's harder for you to come up with, book titles or character names?

I write cozy mysteries. As a genre, titles of cozies tend to be punny. So fans of the genre know right away that this isn't the kind of read that's going to stress them out. In part, it's why we read the genre. It's so important to get the title right. 

My current WiP is a short story called, Lady Sings the Boos. You can probably guess that the story is about a ghostly jazz singer from the title. It's punny and fun. I don't know why, but it just came to me and I'm sort of in love with it right now. I am never going to say that titling is easy because *whispers* the title gods might decide I'm getting too cocky and put me in my place. 

Lately I'm finding character names harder to come up with. I mean, every Tom, Dick and Harry is named...Tom, Dick and Harry. Which reminds me, Lady Sings the Boos has a "Tom" in it. *scribbles note to change Tom's name to anything but Dick or Harry* 


How about you? 

Which do you find harder, titles or character names?

Do you find either of them easy?



44 comments:

  1. That's handy you have a template basically for coming up with titles. Wish mine were so easy.

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    1. Yes, I would think it’s definitely a step ahead of the game when you have that known element.

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  2. Cozy mysteries do have fun punny titles. I think in some ways that would be easier to name them. Character names are much harder.

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    1. Agreed. I struggle with character names. You want to give characters something that stands out but that isn’t outrageous or unpronounceable.

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  3. Punny titles would be so much fun to come up with.

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    1. It is fun! Sometimes I get so tickled with some of the things I come up with. Unusable but fun anyway. But it’s not always fun and easy. Sometimes or even often I struggle with titles. It’s all part of the process.

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  4. I have to say, I love coming to your blog because your header always makes me smile! It's just so adorable! Ditto with the ghost sashaying across on your website. You clearly have the punny title thing in hand. Maybe sometime you can share the unusables - I bet they're hilarious. Naming characters - always a challenge.

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    1. The ghost floating across the screen on my website is so much fun! It makes it a bit interactive. Thanks for stopping by, Lee :)

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  5. Great title. Sounds fun. Hope you are having fun writing it.

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    1. It's a blast but it's at the messy stage right now. I'd cringe if anyone read it now. LOL.

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  6. Both can be pretty difficult but I find titles harder. Way to go with your title, though! Wow! I'm impressed by your ability to come up with punny titles.
    Happy June writing!

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    1. It's not always that easy, Tyrean. But it's so nice when it just comes to you.

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  7. LOL!

    I can't wait to read Lady Sings the Boos.

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    1. Thanks, Diane. I just got the first illustrated concept for the cover and I'm so in love with it!

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  8. It's easier when you know you genre and what readers will gravitate to. Personally, I solve the name issue by tracking down a name with the appropriate symbolism behind it.

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    1. I think you're right about that, Crystal. Start with the symbol or meaning behind the story and go from there.

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    1. It should be fun when it's completed!

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  10. Glad titles are fairly easy for you. Not me.

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    1. I wouldn’t say easy, but it’s really fun thinking up all the possibilities, some so silly that I have to laugh.

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  11. He-he!the "title Gods" love it! Good luck replacing Tom with something other than Dick or Harry ;)

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  12. Cozy mystery titles are so fun! I have a hard time coming up with horror titles, but get to have fun with dark fantasy titles.

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    1. They are fun! And some are so clever! I wouldn’t do well with horror though. Too scary.

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  13. I love the title; it sure made me laugh, and think I might read a few pages, lol.

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    1. Ha! And that's what a title should do :)

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  14. I always struggle with names even when I hunt for them I can never decide. I love the sound of your book, I need to read more cozy books. So many books ....

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    1. Cozies are a balm on the soul in this tumultuous world. I highly recommend them :)

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  15. That is an awesome title! I find it difficult to come up with titles. I try to stay away from punny and alliterative ones... because for some reason, I go there!

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    1. So you'd be good at cozy titles, Christine!

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  16. I love titles that play with words. Your jazz singer title is great. I already get the gist of the story.

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  17. I love cozy mysteries (and have written one), and I've noticed that the titles are often "punny". Your book sounds great: ghosts and jazz. I'm hooked. I've just been reading the IWSG Tick Tock a Stitch in Crime anthology. I'm halfway through it and I LOVE it. When I finish, I'll be reviewing it.

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    1. Some of the titles are so clever! I'm so glad you're enjoying the anthology :)

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  18. Great title! Since my first cozy set the pattern for my titles ("Death By..." something offbeat), I've actually been getting the titles first, which is a fun way to go--sets my mind to working on what it might mean! I've even got the next one, which like the most recent was actually more or less given to me by a friend.

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    1. I can see how the title could come first and set the tone for the whole story. So nice to have the title in advance too :)

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  19. Lady Sings the Boos. I love punny names. Writing cozy mysteries lends itself to them, so go you.

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    1. Yes, it's kind of a perk in a way :)

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  20. Love your new title, and the look of your blog . . . it's been a while since I've stopped by, but trying to get back into the blogging fun.

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    1. Welcome back, Jamie. I'm not blogging much, just for the IWSG. Less blogging, more writing. It's a trade-off. But I sort of enjoying being here more with my new remodel:)

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  21. A ghostly jazz singer in a story titled Lady Sings the Boos - smart! Since the original character is Billie Holiday, will you name your character Millie, Tillie or Lillie?

    I must say that you really nailed it when you named your character Indigo Eady - as I said before, it's an unforgettable name!

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    1. Ha! Now I think I'm going to have to rename her, Michelle ;)

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  22. Oh, I LOVE that title!! So clever and fun too. You made me laugh about the Tom character LOL.

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  23. LOL, definitely wise of you to avoid doing anything that could anger the Title Gods! Absolutely love that title of yours, btw--so fun! And I know what you mean about character names. It sometimes takes me months to figure one out, anymore!

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