Thursday, February 24, 2011

What's In a Name?

Imagine, if you will, a small but rapidly growing southern town in the 1890's. A young man, his nine-fingered girlfriend and an angry black man team up to wreak havoc on a local group of tough guys - only to find that sci fi weirdness awaits.

Sound awesomely awesome, right? Well, slightly lamer than awesome. But still, at least it's a story - and a finished one. So I'm doing final edits on it so I can send it out to be rejected and it dawns on me... I don't have a title. No problem, I'll just slap a name on it and I'm done. I'll call it:

Buster's Revenge

Er, aside from the fact that there is no one named Buster in the story, and no one is really seeking revenge, well, maybe in a general "I'm mad at the world" kind of way, but not specifically. I'm not sure it's appropriate. No biggie, I'll come up with something else.

The Cursed Coin of Caine Comes Calling

I love alliteration, probably because I can tell folks when I'm stuttering that I just enjoying alliterating. But again, who's Caine? Actually, it's pretty stupid. Even if there was a Caine in the story I would hate it. Forget that one.

Bang! That was my Gun... and It Shot You...With a Bullet

Ugh. And that's before alcohol got involved. I think I came up with around a dozen titles, each worse than the last. So, ah, not to imposition anyone or anything, but if anyone has an idea of a title I wouldn't be against using it.


Dead Men Don't Live... Unless They Do!

Oh god, someone please help me.


Rogue Mutt said...

Titles are hard. Just slap some working title on and change it later.

Nancy said...

Finger and Skin
Desperado Junction
More than meets the eye
Tumbleweed Town
Unslung Guns

That's all I've got for now. Give me more info and I can come up with them all night. Not to say they are good but I can come up with them. :)

Les said...

2 and a Half Desperados!
Oh, I got one:
Nine-Finger Discount!
Yessssssss. If you don't use it, I will.

Elizabeth Twist said...

Nancy, those are pretty good! I don't think I know enough about your story, Rusty, to be able to generate an amazing title, so I turned to a random title generator. Here are the most inappropriate / potentially lewd and therefore most amusing titles:

Hot Door
The Wet Force
The Rising Girlfriend
Something in the Blade
The Fire of the Abyss
Playful Servants

It's late. I'm seeing naughtiness everywhere in these...nudge nudge, wink wink.

Of the non-smutty titles this generator made for me, I think this one is my favourite:

No Way

Good luck with the titling!

A Beer for the Shower said...

I love Buster's Revenge, simply since it's so close to Custer's Revenge, that awful and beautifully tasteless Atari game where you can rape the Indians (literally).

Susanna Leonard Hill said...

I like Nancy's Desperado Junction! Otherwise, I don't think I know enough about the book to come up with a title, sorry :)

Fellow crusader here to say hi and follow - way out of my picture book genre here :)

Shelley Batt said...

No clue on the title. I don't know enough of the book. I've heard from different agents that they change them anyway. So don't sweat it. It should make them interested in your story but doesn't have to be perfect.

Angela Scott said...

Titles are a toughie. And then to make matters worse for myself, I title each of my chapters as well. For me, the title is inside my book, somewhere. A phrase or word that just sticks out and works. My current WIP, not so much. The chapter titles come easy enough, but the main title, I'm still working on it.

Good luck!

Michael Offutt said...

Titles are really tough for me. Best of luck to you in getting it published. It sounds intriguing to me so perhaps an agent will feel the same?

Rusty Webb said...

Rogue - generally speaking I'd agree, however in this case it's already later. I need a title.

Nancy - you are the title master, that much I know. I emailed you a copy of the story so if you have time to check it out and let me know what title you think may work.

Les - I did have a working title at one point called "Nine-Fingered Debutante" but I realized that she's really the third character in the story. As much as I really wanted to use a nine-fingered something in the title I just don't think I can. The rights to Nine-Fingered Discount can be all yours. Although I'd be tempted to write something just to go with that title. Because it is awesome.

Elizabeth - I LOVE those, The Wet Door... ha! I like Something in the Blade too. Although cheesy, everyone one of those were great.

Mr. Beer - Raping Indians? Atari was risqué, who knew?

Thanks Susanna - I did add pictures to the version I sent my wife, although it was really just to see if she would notice. I do think I would love to do an illustrated novel one day. I just don't think I have the chops to do all the artwork.

Shelly - I probably should have mentioned this is a short story. Agents generally don't get involved with these, I think the onus is on me to come up with a title.

Angela - That is very insightful. I will scour my work for word or phrase. Of course my prose isn't exactly elegant, but still. Surely I can find something.

Michael - thanks for the encouragement.