Thursday, December 20, 2012

Author Spotlight: Christine Rains


Please welcome CHRISTINE RAINS, author of 1301 - The Marquis!

Thank you so much for having me here today, Livia. This is the last day of my blog tour and it's been a fantastic week. I have a few more gray hairs, but I wear them with pride. Under a layer of dye. Autumn Cascade or Warm Cinnamon. The name of a hair dye will always grab me. This is what a writer needs to do when choosing a title for their book.

Naming your novel is sometimes very easy. The title jumps out at you and you crow with its brilliance. Other times, it's like trying to extract your own teeth. It's slow and painful, and it can show if you choose the wrong title. So, how do you pick an original and catchy name?

Remember to keep it short. Though there are exceptions to the rule, titles should be no more than four words. Preferably one or two. Find a focus word that is key to your story. It might be a character, a place, or an object. It could even be a concept, but be clear about how it represents your novel.

Know your genre. By looking at your cover, a reader should be able to tell which sort of story you've written. We're taught not to judge a book by its cover, but most people do it. If the title doesn't fit the genre, the reader who is looking for something else might be disappointed.

Avoid cliché, pretentious, and old-fashioned titles. You want something original and current. You might think you're being clever, but what you need is a name that sells your book and packs a punch. Try to avoid titles that have been used before. It's difficult with so many books out there, but you want something that stands out.

A lot of the time, titles elude me. I have to fight to find the right one for my stories. With the 13th Floor series, I knew right away that I would name each book for a tenant. They're short names and they relate to my genre. The Marquis is dark and intriguing. A true representation of what sort of story you'll find. The Alpha is a twist on a paranormal romance staple, because it refers to the female protagonist rather than a male.

A compelling title will draw readers in and make them want more. Sometimes it takes practice, but in the end, you'll increase the likelihood of your book standing out amongst tens of thousands of others. Good luck and happy reading!

Thank you Christine!

33 comments:

  1. I'm going around to all of the wonderful blogs I follow to wish you a Merry Christmas (and they're ALL wonderful, otherwise I wouldn't follow). Have a safe and happy holiday, Livia!

    Peace,
    ML

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  2. Aloha Christine,

    Great tips - which I shall need for WIP!#2 :)

    Thanks and Conrats on finishing the blog tour, you must be wrecked :)

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    1. Thanks, Mark! It's been quite the week. I'm ready for a Christmas break!

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  3. I struggle with titles! I was fortunate my publisher liked the original title for my first book - and that they were clever enough to come up with titles for the next two. They're all short, easy to remember, and unique.

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    1. Your titles are great, Alex. You're lucky to have a publisher like that. I have clever CPs! :)

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  4. Thanks so much for having me here today, Livia!

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  5. Titles are my absolute least favorite part of writing. With every article I write, I probably agonize over the title more than any other part. Thanks for the tips.

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    1. You're welcome. Titles are always the worst for me too. Half the time, I'm just lucky to have clever CPs to suggest ones for me!

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  6. you are so good at this, christine! great advice! hope to read this over the holidays!
    merry christmas, ladies!

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  7. What great words of advice, Christine. My title popped into my head one day while I was in the midst of writing and I just ran with it. Thank you for having her, Livia.

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    1. Thank you, Elsie! It's wonderful when a title presents itself like that. You know it's the one!

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  8. You're very good at naming your books! Thanks for the advice.

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    1. Thanks! Sometimes it's easy like with the 13th Floor series, but other times, I'm lost for weeks trying to think of something!

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  9. Naming my novels is really hard. I never come up with original ones.

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    1. I know how you feel. I'm lucky to have clever CPs to help me out!

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  10. Great advice! Most of the time titles jump out at me, although I can't say all of them are original titles, but they fit the books and genre.

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    1. Thank you! You're quite good at titles, though. Much better than I am!

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  11. This is great advice Christine. For some reason the title of my novel jumped out at me from the beginning. I also have a bunch of other random titles floating around in my head...Now all I need is to write the corresponding novel to go with them!

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    1. Thanks! You're lucky when titles do that. I just have tons of stories of no titles!

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  12. I've found it much easier to name my non-fiction titles than my fiction ones. My YA series was actually named by my husband.

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    1. You're lucky to have a husband that helps out! Mine will make some silly joke, and I'll go email my CPs for help. :)

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  13. I'm am terrible at titles. If they aren't an instant flash of brilliance, then I'm doomed! Great tips.

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    1. Thanks! I'm the same way. Half the time, I just name them for the main characters.

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  14. I'll store these handy tips somewhere in the mental filing cabinet... thanks for sharing!

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    1. You're welcome! Thanks for stopping by. :)

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  15. Great tips! Titles can either come so easily or be such a struggle to come up with. Typically, if I don't think of the title first and go from there, I struggle with the title. It's like choosing a paint color for the outside of your house. Terrifying. If you screw up, you'll pay for a long time to come.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

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    1. That's an excellent way of saying it. I usually wait until the end to choose a title if I can come up with one!

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  16. Great post! Titles can be so tricky, but I guess that shouldn't be surprising, since a lot rides on them to catch the eyes of readers. While some come to me easily, others need to be dragged into existence kicking and screaming! (The last title I needed to come up with was very much a kicker-and-screamer...haha!)

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    1. Thanks! *LOL* The kicker-and-screamers can be the shocking ones!

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  17. Loved the pulling teeth analogy. LOL It IS difficult sometimes...and then the publisher changes it. (Score one for the pros of self-publishing. hahaha) Great post!

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    1. Thank you! Hehehe! So true about the publishers.

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  18. Titles can be SO HARD to come up with! I love it when the perfect one just pops in my head! Ah! Those are the best! :)

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