Monday, October 29, 2007

It's 5 a.m., Let's Retitle Our Manuscripts! (and other things you shouldn't do in the morning...)

The Art of Titles--

This is earlier than I normally get up, but I woke up at 4 and after an hour of not being able to fall back asleep, I decided to go downstairs and work on my manuscript. (Did I tell you I'm changing titles again?) So for the last 88 minutes I've been looking at the notes I've written about this manuscript and what I'm trying to do. I have two possibilities for new titles, neither seeming too perfect this early in the morning. From my bed, I had it all figured out, but now from here, in the actual pages of my manuscript, what seemed like a solution ends up just being another question.

So I'm thinking about titles this morning.

Some of my favorite titles are from Tupelo Press--

Miracle Fruit by Aimee Nezhukumatathil
Dancing in Odessa by Ilya Kaminsky

I love
Sleeping with the Dictionary by Harryette Mullen
and Jeannine Hall Gailey's Becoming the Villainess

Other favorite titles of mine?

The Cartographer's Tongue by Susan Rich
Albert Goldbarth's Budget Travel Through Space & Time
Richard Blanco's City of a Hundred Fires

and Nin Andrew's has created her own art form with titles:

The Book of Orgasms
Mid-Life Crisis with Dick & Jane
Sleeping With Houdini

So...somewhere out in the pages of the dictionary are the words to my title, I guess I just need to find them, one word at a time.

* * * *


  1. I like Cate Marvin's title World's Tallest Disaster, and I also like Matthea Harvey's titles.

  2. Hi Kelli, I love these titles, and because I have been thinking of my first (possible) manuscript lately, titles have been on my mind. Here are some of my favorites: Satisfied with Havoc by Jo McDougall; Eve's Striptease by Julia Kasdorf; The Women Who Loved Elvis All Their Lives by Fleda Brown; and Revolt of the Crash Test Dummies by Jim Daniels. I also like the book titled I'm Here Because I Lost My Way by Neil Shepard, because such a title seems to sum up my life!

  3. Title's are so hard for me...I took months to find one, then when I did, I kept changing it from itself to something else then back again. Now, it is itself again and I am deciding to let it go.


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