I have titles in my head for stories I haven’t written yet. They cry out for exposure, ready to lead the reader into uncharted pleasures. Some will be written; others will be wasted. The irony is, I’m on the last few paragraphs of a new novel and I still haven’t got a title for it; not one that gives me that electric buzz, anyway.
The problem is overchoice. I have functional titles that do the job. I have surreal titles that stamp the novel as something it probably isn’t. I have jokey titles; the novel is, after all, a kind of comedy about a French village trying to twin with a village in England, and all my research suggests you CAN’T MAKE IT UP. But the dilemma is haunting me day and night, so I thought I’d let you know.
A title can make or break a book. It is the first tool of marketing – your first shot at making an impression on someone you may never meet but who you hope will settle down with your book and later, we hope, recommend it to everyone they know.
I’m still wavering, but the title must be firmed up in the next couple of weeks. And once that decision is made, it’s permanent.
Whatever I come up with, I hope you’ll read it.