What’s in a name?

About two minutes ago, I got to the end of the last (!!!) rewrite of my novel. Then I went back to the beginning and looked at the title page.

I hate the title.

I decided to change it back to the original title I used when I started writing it five years ago. I like that one, but it’s so long! ELEVEN words long. Then I started changing it to names that I just thought up that weren’t on the twenty-some odd list that I gave to a reader over a year ago.

Nothing is working.

Ford Madox Ford

This is so aggravating! Who has these problems? What writer can’t come up with a decent title for their book? Well, actually I know that Ford Madox Ford’s 1915 novel The Good Soldier was never meant to be called that. He couldn’t come up with a good title, and suggessted it as a joke to his publisher, and was horrified when the book came out with that name. How do I know this? That’s an NYU literary education for you. I just saved you about $100 Gs. You’re welcome.

But Ford obviously had trouble with his own stupid name. Ford Ford? Really? His parents clearly hated him. I have no such lack of love. And normally the title is one of the first things I come up with! I have titles up the wazoo with no book to go with them. This is totally ridiculous!

I’m pissed.

So, any suggestions? Without giving anything away, I’ll give you the essentials:

It’s about a girl. She lives on an island. She grows oranges. The oranges feature prominently and become part of the plot. There are spirit creatures that need to be battled. There’s a witch with white hair. And a super-villian who wears green.

Go nuts.


6 thoughts on “What’s in a name?

  1. Karen says:


    Green…orange…white. Lots of colors to play with. Did you say that “Orange Magic” was suggested and rejected?

    Honestly…this might be something that the marketing dept of a publisher could help with. They might have a better idea if having “Magic” in the title helps or hurts.

    …”Two Witches, A Girl, and an Orange Tree”.

    I’m terrible at this!

  2. Tracey says:

    “Orange Magic” was in there at some point, but I feel as lukewarm about that as all the others. “Two Witches, a Girl and an Orange Tree” is funny. ❤

  3. lovelymurrell says:

    What about The isle of orange or The magic isle of orange. Whatever you decide good luck comming up with a title soon.

  4. ericahostetler says:

    I know this is old and lots has happened since you posted this, so congrats on finishing your manuscript. I’m enjoying going through your posts and learning a lot, but the best thing is that I just started a new NY Times Crossword Puzzle and there is a clue with a mixed up version of Ford Maddox Fords book, and now I can figure out the answer. Magic!
    Continued success!!

  5. Tracey says:

    Man, I helped somebody with a NY Times Crossword Puzzle? That’s hot. I feel like I’ve accomplished something today. Good luck finishing it! And thanks for posting.

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