“A common mistake authors make is choosing a title that has a particular meaning to them but that no one else understands. Choosing a title that sounds good but doesn’t clue readers in to what’s great about the book also smacks of self-sabotage.”
— Eckstut and Sterry, Essential Guide —
I’ve been thinking a lot about titles lately, because I am trying to come up with one for my book (along with a new pitch, a proposal package, and an actual draft). Since it’s been on my mind it seems like I’ve been seeing articles about the importance of titles everywhere. Even though I don’t have a title for the book yet, I thought I’d share my working chapter titles instead.
Part One: Surviving
- Chapter 1: Out of Time
- Chapter 2: Three Minutes Later
- Chapter 3: Consumed By Fire
- Chapter 4: The Evidence of Loss
Part Two: Living
- Chapter 5: Hide Not Thy Face
- Chapter 6: The Old Man On The Stairs
- Chapter 7: The Narrow Margin
- Chapter 8: A Theology of Suffering
- Chapter 9: It’s Not Easy Being a Princess
- Chapter 10: Going Home
The structure is taking shape. The more I work the better able I am to see what it’s supposed to look like. It’s been a fascinating process – where the book has guided me almost as much as I have guided it. There are frequent periods of paralyzing self-doubt, but as one of the section headings in the Essential Guide says, in what is a lovely echoing of Stein, Writing is Rewriting is Rewriting is Rewriting. So I get on with it. One of the things I have learned is that nothing is ever really finished, but eventually it needs some air. It’s taken me nearly three years to grow comfortable talking about the project, much less sharing it with others. But that time is coming, so here’s a peek: my chapter titles, all in a row.
Coming soon: first lines!