Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Help with titles

I've mentioned before how terrible I am at naming manuscripts, right?

The first manuscript I ever queried I initially titled HERE TODAY because it was about a wedding. (Get it? Get it? Okay fine, no one loved that title but me, and I really kinda-only-liked it.) When I first started thinking about self-publishing it, I made Diego help me brainstorm titles.

Our best option was ROM-COM: THE BOOK!* Can't you just imagine that in Loony Toones font?

I love generic. I don't know what it is about bland, but I can't get enough of it. I hope that doesn't make me a hipster, but I am always choosing "BOWLER" as my bowling name.

Then I submitted manuscript number 2 to a handful of local publishers. Its title is JAIMA RODGERS GOES TO COLLEGE, because guess what happens in it? Yeah, exactly.

I also entered my pitch for JAIMA RODGERS during Write On Con's Luck O' The Irish, mostly for the feedback. The main feedback I got was it needed a snappier title.

So how about it, friends? Any thoughts on this title of mine?

Here's the query:

JAIMA RODGERS GOES TO COLLEGE is a new adult romantic comedy complete at 63,000 words. While many of the characters are LDS, the religious references are appropriate for a mainstream audience.

Three months ago, Jaima Rodgers graduated from high school with her best friend, boyfriend, and twin brother by her side. Now, her twin is halfway around the world serving an LDS mission, her former best friend is dating her ex-boyfriend, and Jaima is stuck in a brand new city with broken heart and a pink-haired roommate named Lulu.

Jaima Rodgers figures the best way to get through her freshman year and her broken heart is to just tough it out: no dating, no parties, all studying. She knew college would be hard, but she had no idea she was going to flounder so badly. As if things couldn’t get any worse, she can't find a job, she is tanking her pre-med courses, and the only thing she has in common with Lulu is that they both like to ski—a fact which is not helpful when temperatures are still in the mid-90s. If it weren't for Charlie, the cute resident advisor who has taken it upon himself to make sure dorm residents don't turn into hermits, Jaima would spend her free time watching TV alone and every meal making Top Ramen in her microwave.

As the semester goes by, Jaima gets the hang of classes, befriends her roommate, and slowly regains her self-confidence as she spends more time with Charlie. But when she realizes that she likes Charlie as more than just-a-friend, she’s got to decide if she’s willing to risk her new-found stability for true love.

* It took a day or two, but we did eventually come up with something better. I'll tell you, if I ever do self-publish it. But whenever Diego and I talk about it, we automatically revert to ROM-COM: THE BOOK! because really, isn't that just amazing?


  1. I'm not great with titles either. But I like the query. Sounds like a fun story!

  2. Hello from the A to Z Challenge! Commenting on this instead of your A and B posts because this one looked a lot more fun. The thing is, I love titles! And naming characters. It's hard to do, though, without knowing more about the book. I have tips, though! What makes this book unique? What's special about it? If you're used to making matter-of-fact titles, a matter-of-fact title about something unique or special is, in the end, a not-so-boring title! Think of some metaphors for your theme/message, those can often be worked into your title, too. Imagine your book in the form of a picture, just one snapshot and not necessarily the cover. What title, or even short caption, would you give to that picture? I don't know if these will help. I usually think of my titles really, really early on (if not first thing). Then the title help me focus my writing. I do have one manuscript without a title still, though (besides the stupid ones I've given it), so I definitely feel your pain here! =)