I'm currently doing final edits on my novel Underlife, which will be out in a couple of weeks, and then after that I'll be writing the final couple of chapters and starting edits for the fourth Serenity book, Dominion. But I've always been one to plan ahead!
I have a new series planned--a paranormal series based around spirit guides and the ability of their humans to shift into the shape of their animal. The series title will be 'The Spirit Shifters' (this met with polar responses when I first put it out there, but it fits the series best), but I'm struggling with a title for the first book.
I'm planning on writing this novel during NaNoWriMo. Because 50K in a month isn't much of a challenge to me (I write full time now and so producing 2K a day should be fairly easy if I've set my mind on something) I've decided to set myself the rough draft of the full novel (about 70K) as my NaNo goal.
I love writing, but I also like to write knowing what my book is as a whole. I'm not a huge plotter, but because I want to write this book as a series, I've found myself plotting more than normal. Of course this is not my first series. However, when I wrote Alone, it was only at the suggestion of my then publisher that I wrote book two. Book two ended in such a way that it was impossible not to write book three... and so the story continues.
This novel, however, will be a series, and I want to learn from mistakes I've made from NOT planning the Serenity series--such as certain 'world building facts' that have made certain plot lines difficult to work out. I'd like to put this planning into good use by also planning ahead to link the covers and the book titles.
The main reason for this post is that I'm struggling for a title for the first book, which ultimately makes it impossible for me to plan for any future books as well. It's not that I haven't thought of one--believe me, I have! Several in fact! But none of these titles are original and, even worse, some belong to series novels already.
So what do you think? Does a title need to be completely original, or is it okay if a couple of other books are named the same?