I am really bad at titles, so my manuscripts tend to have working titles right up until the last possible second. Wandering around the blogosphere, one sees working titles here and there.
I made a list the other day of projects at the plate and projects on deck, and here’s a sampling of several of my working titles:
The Widowmaker — I have no idea if I’ll keep this title or not, but it’s a western, and comes from The Peacemaker. (The gun, not the George Clooney movie…or was that Peacekeeper?)
Cursed Not-Dead Guy — This one came about because I originally called it Cursed Knight as a working title, but realized it was more like Cursed Warrior, and I kept tripping up, so now it’s Cursed Not-Dead Guy.
Sparky & the Horny Housewife — I’m not sure what to say about this one. It’s a futuristic and the heroine’s an intergalactic ambassador, so…any explanation would be a spoiler.
Kittylitter — *snort* This is the working title for my F1 romance. I think it’s fairly obvious why it simply says F1 romance in my progress (or lack thereof) meter. But lest Angie come and slap me for thinking this is a confidence in my writing issue, the kittylitter refers to the sandtrap (run-off) area on a Grand Prix circuit.
Imp Bomb — No, I’m not blowing up annoying little creatures. It’s actually short for Impossible Bombshell. I had the opportunity to speak with an editor quite a while ago, and during that conversation the possibility of writing a Bombshell came up. In talking about bringing something different to the table, she asked me about my interests. I told her it would be impossible to incorporate my biggest interest into a Bombshell. She disagreed. She said some things. A friend of mine said some things. Within a few days I had a complete outline for the Impossible Bombshell. Unfortunately, I put it off and she left the company and that opportunity was lost. (Yes, there’s a lesson there.)
FDA — That’s short for :censor: Die, Already. It’s, umm…an old SIM wannabe that’s too good for me to scrap, but not something I see another market for.
Wierd, maybe, but each working title encompasses something about that book for me. I just have to remember to obliterate any trace of the working title from everything before I think about sending it out. *g*
I know some writers come up with the perfect title before they write. Others number them or just slap something on at the end knowing it will almost certainly be changed during publication anyway. (Although I think, even knowing it may not stick, the title is very important as a “first impression” thing.)
So to throw the question out there — Do you use a “real” title right away, or do you use a working title, and how do they come to you?