One of the things that will make me pick up a book quickly is a catchy title. When I stroll through a bookstore, I will search for the best, most intriguing titles. It's hard to say what will pique my interest. Sometimes it's a clever rhyme, or alliteration, or a title that hints at a mystery.
I love the titles of Dick Francis books, because each one has a double meaning...not a double entendre, but one that could and does mean two things in the story. I'm currently re-reading my favorite Dick Francis, To The Hilt.
In this story, the title means "all the way" and it also refers to the hilt of the ceremonial sword of Prince Charles Edward which features in the story.
I was also thinking about how strolling through the library, a bookstore, a local thrift store...any place that has a lot of books...I read titles and try to imagine a story to fit that title. Have you tried this? It starts the creative juices flowing.
For my own works, the titles come pretty early in the process. So far, I haven't needed to change any of them with the editor. In fact, recently on The Edit Cafe, my editor picked out The Bartered Bride along with nine other titles that she really liked. You can read her list here.
Also on The Edit Cafe on Friday, JoAnne Simmons, editor of Heartsong Presents, listed her top five contemporary romances and top five historical romances for 2009. I'm so honored that The Bartered Bride made her list. To check out her other favorite titles, click here.
So, how do you choose your titles? Do story titles ignite your imagination? Have you ever spun stories and asked 'what if' questions when you see an intriguing title?