The Bookish Fox

Three Ways to Title Your Book

Naming a book is harder than getting tickets to Hamilton. Not only does it have to sound good, but it has to actually, you know, be relevant to your book. 

When I am trying to give my book a title, I fantasize about cooking for Gordon Ramsey instead. I don’t know how to cook. I forget things like, oh, plugging in the toaster when I make Pop-Tarts (holler at me if you like S’mores the best). We all know that would go over well.

I always wait until the very end until to name my book because I am always stumped. I usually walk around and tell people that I am writing a book based on (fill in an ancient story here). People usually blankly stare at me and then ask me what I really do. (This is D.C., guys. Everyone here is a politician or a lawyer.) 

So how do I eventually land on a title? Here are my surefire ways to not give your book the equivalent of the human name “Blanket.”

1. Pull Out Your Favorite Line

Read through your book and find your favorite line from it. It can be something a character said or a description. It can be anything really. Well, almost anything. You don’t want to quote the foul-mouthed grandpa. 

2. Use a Single Noun

A lot of famous books have a single noun as the title. Need examples? The Road. The Shining. Oliver Twist. You get the idea. You can use a character name or some object in the book that has symbolic meaning.

3. Quote Shakespeare

It worked for William Faulkner. It worked for David Foster Wallace. It worked for Aldous Huxley. It can work for you. Okay, it doesn’t have from the Bard if he isn’t you jam, but you can use a line from another great work of literature. Just make sure it is in the public domain. You don’t want to deal with lawyers. Trust me, I live in D.C. I know how they roll. (Two of my best friends are lawyers before you send me hate mail. Also, it isn’t as bad as some of things Shakespeare said about them.) 

There you have it. Now you can name your book The Blanket. You can thank me later.  

What is your favorite Pop-Tart? Let me know in the comments below.

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