Search for a Title

My WIP is saved in a folder on my laptop under the fetching title ‘Something’. That’s because I couldn’t think of a title (unlike with my first novel, where the title came first), but I didn’t want to faff around searching for temporary solutions.

Now it’s time to start thinking about a title. It’s crime fiction, it’s reasonably dark (not cosy), it’s about revenge gone badly wrong and a sense of waste of youth and not caring enough for other people. So here are some possibilities I brainstormed:

Beyond Revenge
Nobody’s Child         – these two I had to rule out, as there are too many identical book titles out there

Stop for Nobody
Nobody’s Son
No Revenge Too Bitter
Bitter Ever After

Then I mined the expat angle:

The Cosmopolitans (misleading, sounds like cocktails)
The Expat Circle (tame)
The Internationalists (sounds like non-fiction)

Perhaps I should go for proven successes:

The Girl with the Lover, the Coke and the Secret

So, do you have any favourites from those mentioned above? Or any better suggestions? Here is a little beginning of a synopsis if you want to help me brainstorm.

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38 thoughts on “Search for a Title”

    1. I was rather taken with that one, but was wondering if it had a bit of a cosy connotation to it. Wouldn’t want people to expect it to be ‘nice and sweet’ and then be disappointed.

  1. Another vote for Bitter Ever After here. Don’t think it sounds slightly cosy, the bitter gets rid of that.

    I feel your pain with titles though. Short story I’m writing is currently on its fourth.

  2. Oh I love concocting titles… obviously ‘The book of Revenge the Girl on the Train read when she was Gone’ would be a sure fire hit – but maybe too long for the spine?😈

    Seriously though ‘Bitter Ever After’ has a chilling ring to it…

  3. ‘Bitter Ever After’ is good but doesn’t give a feel of the setting. Could come across a too generic. Places names can be good (like the name of the street or hotel where the incident happens). The only other ones I can think of are quite generic too, like Deadly Pact or Desperate Measures. It’s an exciting stage to be at! Good luck.

    1. I was trying to think of a way to incorporate a place name, you are so right. But I can’t find a way without it sounding artificial or gimmicky… I guess I need more time to play around with ideas.

  4. Oh titles. Our nonfiction book is due to publisher in less than 3 weeks and we still haven’t agreed a title – 3 writers and publisher that is. We have working titles but …
    I blogged about the difficulties of finding good titles recently on Bookword. Not sure it will help here thought. Good luck. Caroline

    1. I’d be quite happy to continue calling this ‘Something’ until I had the final, final version of it, but have to send it out and so need at least a provisional title I’m not ashamed of. I can’t believe you are having the same trouble with non-fiction – but then, the type of non-fiction I write tends to have those academic titles that are anything but catchy…

      1. I can’t believe you are having the same trouble with non-fiction

        Ha! My own last nonfiction book’s title changed at least twice after contracts had been signed, one of those times being after the edited text was in the hands of the printer.

  5. Well, there’s always one who’s difficult . . .

    I’m not sure I would pick up Bitter Ever After; to me it has the tang of a stock title, one of those that publishers keep in a drawer somewhere to stick on the cover of the next book that comes along that it could fit.

    For me, the “Nobody” titles you throw out are more evocative, and the cosmopolitan aspect seems a distinctive strength. Obviously I know nothing more of the book than you give above, plus what I can guess (probably wrongly) from your array of possible titles, but (assuming the “Girl” bit isn’t a red herring) have you thought along the lines of something like Daughter of Nowhere?

    1. More food for thought. I like the ‘nowhere’ angle, but hesitate to use daughter, simply because there are too many books now where we have women as ‘girls’, ‘wives’, ‘daughters’ or ‘mothers’.

  6. I was wondering if the Old Testament might have something. It’s good on revenge! I vaguely remember something like Evil for Evil … anyway good luck and my sympathies I usually find my best titles after the book is published!

  7. Reading the synopsis, I’d “mine” as you put it, the ex-pat angle. I like The Ex-pat Circle (of the three) even you think it’s tame. Because that’s exactly what ex-pats do.

    1. I too like the expat element, and that’s what makes it more interesting. But there have been a couple of books lately with ‘The Expats’ in the title, so it might be confusing…

  8. I think ‘Bitter Ever After’ does sound a bit like a cosy – it’s the ‘Ever After’ bit that does it. I like the words ‘Circle’ – it gives an idea that it’s about a group of people, and ‘Revenge’ would attract me more than ‘Bitter’ – sounds more thrillerish. Circle of Revenge? I like ‘Nobody’s Son’ too – though it’d have to have a real dark cover to make it clear it’s crime.

    1. Ah, it’s so great to have all your opinions – you mention things I’d never thought of. Nobody’s Son was my first choice, because it fits the storyline pretty well too.

    1. Bitter Ever After does seem to be the favourite, so that’s what I used for now. I’m thinking you all must have a better feel for it, as I am too close to the matter!

  9. Hi Marina. Titles are so difficult. I really struggled with mine. I wonder if there is a line in the book that stands out? Sometimes that can work really well. Think of some of your favourite sentences in the novel and see if they yield anything…

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