What’s in a name?

First impressions count. Even before someone meets you face to face. Whether or not it’s fair, people are judged by their names. An Emily is more likely to get a job interview than a Chardonnay. A book title is similarly important – along with the cover it’s one of the first indicators of the story that might be waiting between the pages.

In my last post, I declared my intention to complete National Novel Writing Month using the book “The Bestseller Code” as my guide. Before November, I’m going to meticulously plan out my novel to meet the criteria set out in The Bestseller Code.

And I want to start at the beginning. In fact, I want to start before the beginning – with the title.

The Bestseller Code makes three key observations on which types of titles work well:

  • Titles that start with “the”  – e.g. The Goldfinch, The Firm, The Notebook
  • Nouns with qualifying words e.g. The Da Vinci Codes 
  • Titles that state the character’s role – The Alchemist, The Martian and/or direct us to character’s that act/ do things – e.g. Gone Girl, The Girl who Played with Fire 

With these points in mind, I brainstormed titles for my new book. The list below is just a brain- dump. Many of the titles will have been used before for books/movies/albums.

The Girl Who Loved too Much

The Dancer

The Dancer’s Dog

The Girl Behind the Noise

The Negotiator

The Interpreter

The President’s Interpreter

The Blessed and the Dammed

The Half Moon

The Craftsman

The Elders

The Lion Tamer

The Keeper of Secrets

The Holder of Wishes

The Engagement

The Commitment

The Ambassador’s Dinner

The Ambassador’s Mistress

The Girl Who Wrote the Bible

The Oldest Person in Wales

The Nanny

The Childminder

The Paedophile’s Daughter

The Ligh-tkeeper

The Beekeeper

The Woodcutter

The Contract

The Unsightly Princess

The Secret Camera

The Price of Peace

The Murderer’s Mother

The Unhappy Millionaire

The Unkind Philanthropist

The Cruel Philanthropist

The Basket

The Distant Friend

The Girl Who Believed in Angels

The Last Dance

The Final

The Mistake

The Trick of Fate

The Car Crash

The Last Leaf on the Tree

The Last Girl in the Carriage

The Last Girl through the Underpass

The Girl Who Missed the Train

The Last Man on Earth

The Green Casserole Dish

The Unwanted

The Discarded

The Discarded lover/child

The Discarded Photo

The Dreamer

The Last Hot Air Balloon in the Sky

The Last Plane in the Sky

The Aggressive Nurse

The Demon’s Nurse

The Charge

The Innocent Liar

The Hard Lace

The Only Barber in Syria

The Syrian Laundrette

The Camp

The Last Child in the Camp

The Angry Boy

The Speechwriter

It’s a long list! Next I need to think about the themes for my book. This should help me to narrow down the title choice.