To Name a Child

Cliff-in-Clouds.jpgGiv­ing a book a title is kind of like nam­ing a child. It takes months of ago­niz­ing work slav­ing over words and ideas to pro­duce a fin­ished pro­duct. Tears are often shed when a wave of frus­tra­tion at not being able to find the right word hits like a freight train. There are sleep­less nights when the sto­ry rolls around and around in your head and you can’t seem to find the off switch.

Then, after spend­ing count­less hours craft­ing and form­ing prose that sings like an angel you kick it out there and hope some­one rel­ish­es your efforts as much as you do. But wait. What about a name? It can’t be any old name. It needs to express the feel­ings and emo­tions of your work. It needs to sing just as much as the rest.

You come up with the per­fect title. Then you look to see if any­one else has used your idea of per­fec­tion. Bum­mer! It’s been used 50 bil­lion times already! How is that pos­si­ble? I can’t use that title and be unique! Ugh! Let’s go back to the draw­ing board of imag­i­na­tion and cre­ativ­i­ty. Except, it’s a blank, unwa­ver­ing chalk board! Every idea has already been used at least 20 bil­lion times!

Com­ing up with the impec­ca­ble title that hasn’t been too over used and yet fits your book is a chal­lenge.

It reminds me of when we named our kids. With one child, we just couldn’t agree on a name we both liked. We had 9 months to decide and yet, when the time came to put a name on paper we had noth­ing. That poor boy was called “Baby Boy Smuin” for the first two weeks of his life! It wasn’t until the hos­pi­tal called and said we had until 5 pm to name him or his paper­work would be turned into the cour­t­house as “Baby Boy Smuin” did we agree on his name.

The next one, how­ev­er, was entire­ly dif­fer­ent. From the moment we found out she was cook­ing we both knew the name and we nev­er wavered.

That’s why I think nam­ing a book is kind of like nam­ing a child. Shim­mer came to me while it was being writ­ten and it’s a great title. The book we are fin­ish­ing up is anoth­er sto­ry. We have tossed around ideas but can’t seem to find the right one. Only time will tell what it will be. Stay tuned for the cov­er reveal and the name that we have slaved over. The name that kept us up at night. The name that we tra­vailed over so we could get it just right!

The name that sings!




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