Since I have published my first Novel Loot I have continued to write and have mostly written novel number two and the work in progress is coming to an end yet I still cannot settle on a choice for the title. So far I have short-listed several including Black Puzzle, A Black Spot of Memory, Remember, The Past in Shadows, and Shades of Remembrance. Still none of these jump out at me. The same thing happened with my first novel Loot, which I wrote under a working title of Jay Sharp almost up to the time that I sent it to the publisher. In the end my editors liked my choice of a final title for the book so I felt vindicated in my choice. I feel sure that when I have finished this book that it will bear a title that doesn’t even resemble my short-listed titles at all. This has led me to think about titles in general. How important is the title of a work? Is it important for the title of a work to evolve with the writing? Is there a method for finding a good title?
Mostly, even editors only have very nebulous ideas about how to choose a title for a book and there seems to be no hard and fast rules for what makes a good title. Phrases like, something catchy, or quirky and so forth are all relatively meaningless in the end when the writer is staring at the screen trying to find the right words. Some titles of the classics have marked those books as cornerstones of literature, so it would seem that a good, enduring title is a great asset for a book and choosing a good title may be one of the things that sets a good writer out from the crowd.