Choosing “Unearthed” as a title
For those of you who follow my blog, you know that choosing names isn’t my forte. Usually I struggle with naming characters, but once in a while I have to name something even more important… the entire book.
Some authors know the name of their book before they put the first word on a page. I think that these are also the writers that have every point of their stories mapped out beforehand. I picture huge white boards with elaborate notes scrawled in various colors. If that’s your process- awesome! More power to you! But that’s not me. My writing is a lot more organic than that. Sure, I have the plot mapped out, but I use these plans more like “guides” than “laws” I have to obey. My writing is fluid, organic; I let the characters take me where they need to go instead of me forcing them to follow my plan. I have a feeling that even if I tried to force them, they wouldn’t obey. Characters are like children in that way. 🙂
Perhaps it’s because of my writing style that I wait till the very end to choose a name. Unlike authors who map their stories, I don’t really know what my books are going to be about until the end. Let me rephrase… I don’t know the essence of the characters’ stories until I’ve gotten to know them better, and this usually doesn’t happen until I’ve written a few thousand words about them.
How can I choose a title for their story before I’ve gotten to know them?
Choosing titles for my novels involve me sitting at my computer with Amazon and Thesaurus.com. For this one, I knew that I wanted the title to be a single word since it’s the 2nd book in the Sirilian Series and the 1st, Adrift, is only one word. I like to be consistent!
So, I was looking for a single word that encapsulated the entire book… not an easy feat.
I started with “Awakened” and immediately liked the potential title. Synonyms were: resurrected (sounded too religious), and discovery (which was a little blase). There were several books with Awakened in the title, but not so many that I was worried. It was my top contender until I found the word “Unearthed.”
I LOVED this title! It has the word Earth in it, which was important since this is my first novel that takes place on our own planet. It was a single word and encapsulated the story of Ashlyn literally digging Reus out of the ground. I poked around at other possibilities, but always came back to Unearthed. Days later, it was still my favorite and I decided to use it!
So, at what part of the process did I have a title? About the same time I sent the manuscript to my editor, and after I’d settled on concept art for the cover (another process that I’ll get into later).