Friday, February 24, 2017


Welcome to another awesome week of MFRW 52 week writing challenge! This week's theme is "How I Choose a Book Title." For me, it's quite easy (or hard, depending). I brainstorm. 

I only have a couple dozen books out and, like other authors, another pile I've written or want to write, but not a one of them have I ever conceived the book title first. 

Titles do not "come" to me. (And those that have remain unwritten. Weird). I wish I were brilliant that way. I have a friend who comes up with great titles--before she even begins writing. I wish! 

No, I've learned that my method is to put up "Untitled" then whatever specific theme/genre I'm writing. Like, "Untitled Paranormal." If something comes to me as I'm writing, I'll add it under the Untitled label. I keep a notebook next to the computer that is used specifically to jot down title ideas while I'm writing the story. Now, there have been those gems that come out while I'm actually writing (my favorite to date is Fever Hitch), but most often, I'll finish the story and it'll still be Untitled. At this point, I'll pull out my brainstorm pages and scour them with pen and pencil until I can come up with a title I like. 

Brainstorming ideas often include a lot of one or two word ideas. Maybe places where the story takes place, maybe colors that may be consistent through the book, it may be general ideas of what I'm trying to convey with the story. If I find myself really stuck or indecisive, I'll bounce ideas around with my husband. He can be an excellent sounding board.

To the left you'll see an example of one of my brainstorming pages. (I'm sorry it's sideways, I'm lost as to how to fix it 'cause it was fine in it's own file. Oh well, I've openly admitted I'm not a techie person). The point is, it's not pretty, and some of the titles I jotted down truly suck, but like any good brainstorming, you have to put the ugly with the not so ugly. The actual title of this particular book? I'm still not 100 percent. I've narrowed it down to two titles, none of which are on the page amusingly enough, but both title ideas have come from this process. 

Here's to happy writing and even happier titles! Don't forget to cruise around to see  how other authors come up with their titles. Thanks for stopping by ~ Ayla 



  1. It's great to know I'm not alone when it comes to choosing a title. I hadn't thought to brainstorm titles like I brainstorm stories--I'm weird that way. Loved your post.

  2. Hey, that's a good idea. I never really thought of having a notebook by the computer to jot down possible titles. Thanks for the advice.

  3. Everyone has their process. I keep a running doc online for random manuscripts, some titled, some not. I've not thought of keeping a doc for titles. I've had to force myself to do those things electronic because I jot down on random pieces of paper that later go missing.

  4. I go with a working title on my manuscripts until the day I have to start seriously thinking about branding! Yep, titles are hard, and so are blurbs and log lines!