What’s in a name?

Naming books is not my favorite activity. I would rather write another hundred thousand words of narrative than pick the two to five words that will capture its essence on the cover.  Anyone who has seen the initial working titles for most of my work would agree that creating names is not my strong suit.  (two examples of too many: “Carl Finally Gets Some Action” and “Dusty’s Story”)

The shortcoming affects more than writing. We had a cat we called “Kitten” all sixteen years of his life because that’s the best name I could come up with. (We told the vet to list him as Alexander Batwing Spook, but none of those monikers ever stuck for day-to-day use.)

Anyway. Titles. On rare occasions the proper one just comes to me with the concept attached. (Rough Passages felt right for the series the instant it popped into mind, f’rex.)  I wish the process worked like that all the time, but no. It’s usually a long, excruciating research project involving weeks of brainstorming, muttered curses, disappointing reactions from Beloved Alpha Reader, and lots of check-searches to avoid use of an accidentally offensive, clichéd, or market-saturated phrase.

And sometimes when I’m brainstorming I come up with titles that speak to me…but neither fit my work-in progress perfectly nor immediately inspire stories to go along with them.

I keep coming back to this list I posted a couple of weeks ago. I am still searching for a better title than Heartwood for the upcoming Rough Passages novel. For your amusement, here’s a second look at the sad options I’ve collected so far:

  • All The Days In Darkness
  • Chase the Whirlwind
  • In the House of Mourning
  • A Crackling of Thorns
  • The Heart Is a Trap
  • A Handful of Tranquility
  • What Wise Hearts Know
  • Sagging Rafters, Leaking Souls
  • Like Clouds After Rain, The Days of Trouble Come

And these sound like a fantasy trilogy to me, tho’ I have zero idea what kind. Something dark & epic maybe.

  • Break the Golden Bowl
  • Cut the Silver Cord
  • A Wheel Broken At the Well

That’s all for now. Why post all this (again)? Because I felt like sharing and this topi is on my mind?  Yup, It is that simple. It also means I am less likely to lose the list if ever I decide to use any of them. Yes, I can irrevocably delete things by accident. I have witnesses.

If by chance you think any of these would make a great title for a book about a woman facing the exposure of her dark past and the loss of her new life when she gains a phenomenal superpower…well. Let me know.

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