I find myself from time to time getting this weird idea about what I want to write, but before I start in on it, I have to google it to make sure someone didn’t already do it.
My most recent example shall remain a trade secret lest it is stolen away and used before I get around to it.
But I can give other examples. Actually all three of the titles of my novels can serve as pertinent examples of what I’m talking about.
And I guess this is less about story-lines and more about titles or other phraseology. As I was honing in the title of “The Reach of the Banyan Tree,” I had to make sure that it wasn’t taken. I hate the idea of recreating a title that someone else has used at some point. I found there was a novel called “The Reach” and plenty of novels about banyan trees like “The Banyan Tree”, “In the Shade of the Banyan Tree,” and “Under the Banyan Tree.” Good. I was happy enough that my title was significantly different that I went with it because it fits the story incredibly well.
I wrote “The Recluse Storyteller” in the summer of 2012 and, no, I had never heard of “The Millriver Recluse” at that time. I kind of loathed putting the same word in my title as if people might get the two mixed up. There were other novels called “The Recluse” and there are at least six or so novels called “The Storyteller.” But the concept of “The Recluse Storyteller” was unique enough that I had no problem combining those words into my title. Again, it describes the novel perfectly – about a recluse who tells stories to herself. Pretty simple.
I wrote “Beauty Rising” back in 2011 and I loved the title immediately. To me talked about redemption, rising out of the ashes, second chances, and all of those themes which are intricately woven into the story. But it really was the Vietnamese meaning of the female protagonist, My Phuong, which really made the title meaningful. “My” means beauty and “phuong” means Phoenix – beauty rising out of the ashes. Absolutely beautiful with an incredible amount of foreshadowing. It was perfect. I was just hoping no one had ever used it. I googled and to my surprise Beauty Rising was a health spa in Culver City, California, but it had never been a title for a novel as far as I could tell.
I put a lot of thought and energy into my titles. I have to like them a lot before they are considered and googled. Others may feel indifferent about them, but any title for my novels will certainly have some meaningful background.
Thanks to google, I’m able to stay clear of common titles which have been overused.
Novel #4 will be titled: ? ? I’m not ready to say yet. Soon enough.