Writer's Notes

Guest Post: Marilyn Meredith

Coming up With Titles

By author Marilyn Meredith

Marilyn’s blog can be found at Marilyn’s Musings.

Sometimes I know the title before I write the book. At other times I flounder while trying to find the perfect title.

For my Deputy Tempe Crabtree mysteries, Tempe is a Native American, I often find an Indian legend or saying by an Indian and use some part of that. Dispel the Mist, Invisible Path, Wing Beat all came about that way. The one I’m working on now, Spirit Shapes also came from a quote. Of course they have something to do with the story too. 
Raging Water by Marilyn Meredith
Raging Water by Marilyn Meredith
The latest in that series, Raging Water, is a reference to what happens to Bear Creek when a huge storm strikes. I had to ask for help from my writer’s group for that title.
Sometimes the title strikes me immediately, even before I start to write–at other times I flounder.
With the Rocky Bluff series, a first title came easy.
Final Respects revolves around the death of a much-loved policeman, a mortuary and a funeral–the title was perfect.
Bad Tidings refers to the bad news police officers often have to deliver–and there is plenty in this book.
In Fringe Benefits a not so good police officer takes advantage of his job.
Smell of Death was the perfect title for this mystery centering on multiple murders.
Because No Sanctuary is about two churches, the ministers, their wives and the people who attend, this was the perfect title.
An Axe to Grind fit the murder weapon and motive.
Angel Lost has a double reference which becomes apparent when you read the story.
The reason for calling this next one No Bells doesn’t become apparent until near the end.
Dangerous Impulses by Marilyn Meredith
Dangerous Impulses by Marilyn Meredith
I had one heck of a time coming up with the title for Dangerous Impulses and one of the members of my critique group provided this one.
And for the one I’m writing now, a friend gave me the title which triggered the plot line. I’ve only written 5 chapters so I’ll wait a bit to reveal the title.
Remember, titles can’t be copyrighted, and often there is more than one book with the same title–sometimes they even come a around the same time.
I do always check Amazon for titles I’m considering.
How do you come up with a title for your books?

By Thonie Hevron

Mysteries to keep you reading through the night.

One reply on “Guest Post: Marilyn Meredith”

[…] Oak Tree Press has published an anthology of works encompassing what the title portrays by authors who have been there. My story, “Jack Daniels” was chosen to appear with such illustrious company. This anthology was put together by the Public Safety Writers Association–a group of writers in the emergency services field. Editing by Meredith Olsen (check my blog archives for her post “Coming Up With Titles”.) […]

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