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Novel title - how did you come up with yours?

(7 Posts)
TalcumPowder Wed 23-Jul-14 10:09:01

The novel I've just finished, and am currently cutting from its unwieldy length, has had a working title for a year. That title no longer suits, as the novel has changed considerably in the writing -- not surprisingly -- and I need to evolve a new one, and am stumped. Can I ask how you came up with your titles?

One of my principal problems is that there are two, entirely different narrators telling quite different stories in rather different styles, so a phrase/image/preoccupation that works well for one doesn't make any sense in relation to the other.

Any wise words?

schmalex Wed 23-Jul-14 10:48:34

What is the connection between the two narrators / stories? What is the underlying theme?

Titles are so hard! grin

ImperialBlether Wed 23-Jul-14 14:08:05

Tell us a bit about the story. I like lines from songs or poems - was there anything you were listening to while you were writing?

TalcumPowder Wed 23-Jul-14 16:53:35

It's set between 1895 and 1907, and follows the intertwined lives of a small group of actual historical figures, two artists and their circle (without being too specific!) The two narrators are women, who were close friends as art students. One continues to paint, while the other becomes wife and 'muse' to a famous artist; the first is narrated in the 3rd person, the other in interpolated diary entries, giving their different perspectives on a collective story.

It's about, I suppose, the choices facing the women of the period, the relationship between art and life, being a muse vs being an artist, and the cost to women of ideas about 'free love' and bohemian life.

The obvious title would involve using the name of a painting, but that would involve choosing one of the narratives over the other, ie I would have to call it after a painting by woman A, or a painting woman B modelled for - there's nothing that could encompass both narratives.

Sorry if that sounds immensely complicated. It's not, really!

ImperialBlether Wed 23-Jul-14 18:34:52

That sounds a really interesting book. It must have taken a lot of research.

Now you've got me trying to think of titles!

ImperialBlether Wed 23-Jul-14 18:46:20

Which titles have you liked, OP, from other books?

TalcumPowder Wed 23-Jul-14 19:58:24

A fair bit, Imperial, but there are biographies of some of the chief characters, and I've been lucky enough to see a fair bit of their work at various points down the years, and had access to two sizeable archives. The research was lovely, in fact - the only problem was not letting it get out of hand, and hit another archive instead of writing.

I tend to like titles that aren't 'obvious', or totalising, or portentous, if you know what I mean?

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