Wednesday 22 September 2010

What is in a name…?

Last night I was sitting watching television when an advert came on for a latest release at the cinema. It was a horror (great!), starring Ryan Reynolds (hmmm, not so sure about that one), and it was called Buried!

Now this in itself isn’t particularly shocking, but for me it made my stomach sink, as Buried is also the title of my latest WIP.

I don’t like having to change the titles of my novels. It feels a bit like having to change the name of a baby after they are born. No matter what you tell yourself, you still think of the book/pet/baby by its original name. Anything else feels a bit like fraud.

However, this tact isn’t always the right one to take. One particularly famous name change was Twilight, which was originally called Forks. The publishers definitely did right on that name change.  Forks doesn’t quite have the same ring as Twilight (and where would they have gone with the sequels…knives? spoons?).

Anyway, should I change my title? I am in the final leg of the novel now and I really don’t want to. It fits in perfectly with not only the book, but  all three as a series. And it’s not like my novel is ever going to be held up there in the same league as a big Hollywood blockbuster (I’m a dreamer, but I’m not delusional!).

So what do you think? Change or not to change…That is the question?


  1. This is a tough one. But i don't think the TV show should influence your title. There is tons of media that shares similar titles. I had a perfect one for my WIP and then I googled it and found a song with the same name. That ruined it for me, so I brainstormed and came up with a list of options, which I googled and most were already books or songs. Frustrating.
    But I finally found one not taken (as of yet) and even so, I don't think it really matters unless the title is soo popular it's ridiculous. Like calling it Twilight.
    Also, my recent completed ms was titled Coffee & Donuts, and I've just decided to change the name. I say go with what feels right, and if an agent/pub feels differently, cross that road when you get to it.

    Best of luck!

  2. Don't change - unless you think of a much more worthwhile title that you are happy with

  3. My vote is no. Like PK says, same names pretty common. Look at the fad to warp titles of a famous works like many of Kim Harrison's books: Dead Witch Walking, The Good the Bad and the Undead, Every Which Way but Dead, etc. I prefer duplicate titles to that corny way of titling a book. But in the end it's all about the marketing. Maybe it'll actually help. People looking for the movie will happen upon your book.

  4. First of all, what's this "The Dark Road" business? Have you been holding out on us? I like it! Have I missed a whole bunch of details? What's the story here?
    Second of all, I see in the future that the producers of this new film will have to post an asterisk beside their film title which will read, "Not the Farrar novel which kicks our ass!" ;)

  5. Might sound bad, but I wouldn't worry too much, keep it as buried. Your agent, or publisher if they feel it doesn't work will nudge you on it. If I were you I'd not worry about the title and just get the final leg out of the way. After all, the title is only one word, it's the 80,000 after it that counts :o)

  6. Aw, what a lovely lot of comments to wake up to this morning! Thanks everyone, for your input. I guess it was pretty conclusive - no change unless publisher insists (while offering me huge amount of cash, of course!). LOL.
    Jimmy - Dark Road should be out start of October. I hadn't realised I'd not really been talking about it!
    (Note to self - must talk about new novel more..)

  7. Marissa,
    As an editor, I always tell people to avoid one-word titles, and also to avoid using commonly used phrases as titles. I will also google a title, just to double check if it's been used before I use it, and check all the latest movie trailers to see if Hollywood has stuck a straw in my brain and sucked anything out while I was asleep.

  8. Hmmmm, Mark. You have got the brain ticking. I am now thinking of maybe merging my titles for continuity. So it would be 'Buried Alone'. Then the third one will be 'Something else' Alone. I don't know, just thinking aloud, really. Again, opinions welcome!

  9. Marissa, you cheeky thing!

    I have a post in my blog by the exact same name, about almost the exact same thing and even mentioning Twilight's change of name?

    Am I influencing you? You may have read my post and forgot, then wrote this? I'll sue! Lol!