Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Titles

Titles

The 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...



23 comments:

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  4. A title is important, it tells so much. I think With Altered Voice is much more descriptive than Seth, but for some reason I like Seth better. Simpler, maybe?
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  11. Thanks for sharing. I like the title you came up with but I have to tell you for some reason your working title Seth just sticks it to me. I really like it. :D I don't know why for like you said it doesn't really tell what your book is about but I find it intriguing for some reason! Happy a to z!

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  12. I found your great blog through the WLC Blog Follows on the World Literary Cafe! Great to connect!
    @JLenniDorner

    Gone With the Wind was originally called Pansy (Scarlet's name before that was altered as well).

    Personally, I would pick up a book called Seth, because I have a friend with that name.
    I might not pick up a book with the name of someone I disliked, however.
    So I suppose a title with a character name, where the name isn't especially peculiar at least, is a bit of a gamble.

    The original title of the first book in my series, upon a web search, turned out to also be the name of a band that played some sort of German metal music which used pots and pans instead of drums. An acquired taste, to be sure. So I changed it. All for the best, as the rest of the titles in my series fell straight into place once the first one was fixed!

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  13. Then again, an editor might change it again.

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  19. When I was working on my last book I scribbled down "The Witch" and moved on. Soon it was the only title I felt would work so I stuck with it!

    Really enjoyed your post.

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    Tim Brannan
    The Other Side and The Witch
    Red Sonja: She-Devil with a Sword
    The Freedom of Nonbelief

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  20. I wish you all the luck with "With Altered Voice", Merlene. What an accomplishment to have it completed!

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  23. Interesting. Glad to find your blog. New follower here. I'm stopping by from the "A to Z" challenge and I look forward to visiting again.

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For some reason I'm yet to fathom I'm unable to reply to comments left by others so thank you for dropping by and taking the time to read and comment. Merlene