Book Titles or Character Names – Which is Harder to Come Up With?

Insecure Writers Support Group day!   I have had a piece of work accepted, in the Association of Christian Writers’ Christmas Anthology – hurray.  I should say that louder (write it louder?), even though I have had little opportunity to write since my last IWSG post.  Same old four-letter word – w-o-r-k.  It’s high season in the education-world, with exam invigilation and sampling learners’ assignments for an awarding body.

So, on to the optional question:  What’s harder for you to come up with, book titles or character names?  I’m better at finding character names; I enjoy devising exactly the right name for the right character, even though I sometimes change them.  When I say right, I mean appropriate for when he/she was born, where he/she was living and in which social class.   It annoys me when writers don’t do this, giving young characters old fashioned names or older characters names which weren’t in usage at the time they came into the world.  I sometimes change characters’ names as they and their circumstances develop, or because, as in my current novel – which I can’t get round to finishing off – too many of them begin with one letter, in this case M.

Titles, I’m no good at.  My WIP has the working title ‘And the Wall Came Tumbling Down’ and I think of it as the ‘Wall’, but this moniker is no longer appropriate for the story.  I will have to think of something else.  I once wrote a short story entitled (published in Circa, btw) which originally rejoiced under the heading ‘Anna The Dissident Appears on Television’, but the television bit didn’t work.  I tried very hard to make it work, because I liked the wacky title, but it had to be just ‘Anna The Dissident’.  A writer cannot be imprisoned by a title, however catchy and clever.

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11 thoughts on “Book Titles or Character Names – Which is Harder to Come Up With?

  1. I find I have GOT to have a title to work to when writing my flash fiction but I tell myself it can always be changed and I usually do change my initial idea here. I find as I’m drafting the story, a better alternative pops into my head so I go with that. I find I must have something to kick the process off with though. It is almost as if I can’t start without that initial thought on which to “peg” my story.

    1. Maybe, Allison, when you’re writing flash, you’re using the title as a sort of synopsis?

  2. Congratulations!
    You’re an inspiration.

    I’m going to have a go at writing creatively over the summer.

    1. Well done Anne. I will try and do the same. I will think of you as I’m doing it.

  3. For me, I have trouble coming up with characters’ names. I think sometimes it’s because there are just too many of them. I only need one title for a project. Heh.

    1. Yes, I think of stories as being named after the main character. For instance, my novel I think of as ‘Marya’.

    1. Agreed! I think we’re all agreed. A lot of writers have told me that they think of their works by the main characters’ name.

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