The Origin of a Title

For six months or so, while I’ve worked on novels three and four, I’ve been thinking that I need a better title for number two. My second novel is currently in its final rounds of editing. I hope to release it sometime in the next few months. Since I started the story, I’ve known that the working title, while meaningful to me, would likely confuse readers. But every time I’ve tried to sit down and think long enough to come up with something more suitable, I’ve gotten distracted by more pressing concerns.

I’ve heard some writers say that, for them, the first step in writing a new book is coming up with the title. From the title, all else follows. (For me, stories start with a character or set of characters talking. Yep, voices in my head. Snicker if you will, I can’t hear you.) My experience with titles has been a little different. All my titles have come from some line or concept in the finished or nearly finished book. It seems that until the story has become crystal clear, ideas for the title just don’t start congealing in my brain.

This time, I never did find the time to sit down and think. Instead, my unconscious did the job, and I woke up a few days ago with the words suspended like a string of Christmas tree lights in my waking mind: The Door Behind Us. It’s evocative without giving anything away. It feels intimate, and it tips off the reader that events of the past will play an important role in determining the future. I like it.

What do you think? Would it attract your attention in the book store?

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One response to “The Origin of a Title

  1. I like it!

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