Last week, I mentioned that I have begun working on a story called Two Days before Christmas. Because this is a Christmas story, I have been listening to some “inspirational” music to get me thinking Christmasy thoughts. The song below is one of those songs that makes me want to get out the decorations or bake some Christmas cake. But, I don’t want to talk about that story in this post — although I will share an excerpt. No, today, I want to ask you a question.
JohnnyReidVEVO. “Johnny Reid – Waiting For Christmas To Come.” YouTube, YouTube, 24 Dec. 2009, youtu.be/wT9mJTYq-P8.
Do you ever judge a book by its title? This is a question I have been thinking about this past week. You see, I have a book coming out this Thursday. You’re probably familiar with the story if you have been reading my blog because the book’s title is With the Colonel’s Help, the story that just finished posting on Thursday’s a few weeks ago. We’ve now begun a new story titled Confounding Caroline.
Here’s why that book coming out and the new story that has started posting has me wondering if people judge a book by its title. My first reader, who happens to be my sister and the Jane to my Lizzy, asked me during our conference call where she told me about things she thought needed some attention — “Do you think people will pass over this story because of the title? Will they think it is a story about Colonel Fitzwilliam and not Darcy?”
She knows, from what I have told her about my sales figures, that Darcy and Elizabeth stories usually sell much better than any of my other stories. Darcy’s a favourite — which is understandable. He’s Darcy, after all. So, she has a point — she usually does. (She tends to be the annoyingly correct older sister at times 🙂 )
Adding to worry her question created, I read a comment somewhere from someone who saw a post about With the Colonel’s Help that said the person doesn’t normally read stories about the colonel. Hmmm… My worry may be well-founded. 🙂
There is a trend to give stories titles with Darcy in them, or so it appears from the number of titles that show up with that name in them when you do a quick search. Again, titles with Darcy in them tend to sell better from what I have observed and been told. (He’s a favourite. 🙂 )
It’s not my practice to include Darcy in a title unless that book is one of my Dash of Darcy book. For those books, I require myself to include Mr. or Mrs. Darcy in the title because I want the connection between book and collection to be clear.
But normally, I choose a title that contains a theme of some sort or highlights something important to the story. For example, the title With the Colonel’s Help lets the reader know that Colonel Fitzwilliam is instrumental in the story. He is actually the hero — not the romantic hero, that role is filled by Darcy, but the person who brings about the happy conclusion for Darcy and Elizabeth. Likewise, the title Confounding Caroline should let the readers know that Caroline is a problem that needs solving.
It might be of interest to note that even with my Dash of Darcy titles, I still have a theme referenced in them such as unravelling a character’s uptight manner or waking up to who someone is.
It’s important to me, as a writer, that my titles have a meaning, which is why I have chosen to keep With the Colonel’s Help as a title. Hopefully, when the book comes out, I will find out that I have worried for absolutely no reason. 🙂
Those are a few of my thoughts on why I name stories as I do. What I would now like to know is what you think about titles. Just drop your opinion in the comment section.
But, before we get to that, I suppose you would like an excerpt from what I wrote this past week? In fact, I am going to share everything I wrote this week because I only managed to get in one writing session — yes, one! It was a very low writing week for me! I was editing With the Colonel’s Help and getting that ready to publish, and I had an Austen Author’s post to get ready as well. My day on Austen Authors is tomorrow! I’ve got a different sort of giveaway going on, so drop by to see what that’s about. But thankfully, I still have the excerpt below to share with you.
AN EXCERPT FROM Two Days before Christmas:
Continue reading Music Monday: Waiting for Christmas to Come, Johnny Reid