Thursday, September 3, 2015

Title Trauma

My memoir is finally wending its way to the typesetters, but still without a title! This makes me feel naked and nervous, as if I've sent a child into the world without a name...

Not that this was my doing, you understand. The book had a title when I first submitted it to publishers nine months ago, but that title went out the window in the first phase of the editorial process. Why? The pubs never really said.

The title wasn't Beans, by the way. But perhaps it should have been; one word titles are all the rage right now and there is at least one reference to beans in my memoir, beans and just about everything else. Memoirs are like that; they're not really about any one clear thing, but lots of mixed up things loosely strung together by chronology, which is the way of real life, hence the difficulty with finding the right title amongst a multiplicity of promising possibilities - at least I think they're promising. The pubs seem to disagree, rejecting my twenty or so alternative suggestions in pursuit of the ONE right title.

Good luck with that, I say. Meanwhile, here's a link to a funny and illuminating blog essay on the perils of the publishing process, including the troublesome quest to find the right title, a quest that is apparently quite standard. I am not alone. Evidently writers can write stories, creating characters with names - even memoirists who invariably make up names to protect the privacy of their real life characters - but they can't title their stories to save themselves. Who knew? I didn't.  Indeed 'Who knew?' could be the title of my memoir...

Excuse me; I have to see a man (woman) about a dog (title).


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