TitlesThe whole time I've been writing and editing Seth I never thought about any other title - until this morning - when I played around with a whole host of alternatives before selecting one.
I think what it was, I had become so used to Seth as a working title, I hadn't looked beyond this to something that might better reflect the contents. I'd become comfortable with the familiarity - a bit like self-editing, I suppose, when we begin to see what we think we've written rather than seeing the glaring typo or awkward sentence.
I wanted a title that was an abbreviation of the book, to condense 103,000 words into less than one sentence and still tell a story. I started out with a list of words, then just as quickly ruled most of these out as they have become almost clichéd through overuse. I won't list these here, however, as I don't want to be seen a judging the choices of others, because I think title choice is a personal thing to be factored differently for each individual.
In the end I chose, With Altered Voice, as the main character, Seth, progresses through the story from selective mutism, where he uses notes and gestures as his voice, to oral speech. This change coincides with his acceptance of his sexual orientation and emergence as the developer of a gay community.
I hope it works...