Writers are bedeviled by different aspects of the writing biz. For some, it's developing a gripping plot; for others it's creating sympathetic characters. And for still others, it's the title. Most of us have working titles on our computers, but the day always comes when we have to come up with something memorable, catchy and relevant. Hemingway, no slouch in this department, thought Fitzgerald the best at creating these short verbal tags.
When I began writing the Anita Ray series, I decided to use a consistent format for the title. I would use the name of a deity that reflected some of the issues in the story, and in a prepositional phrase if possible. Coming up with a tag for the first book, Under the Eye of Kali, gave me the idea, and I've enjoyed playing around with deities and phrases since then.
The idea for this post came from a series of messages on DorothyL. A number of posters mentioned titles that led them to purchase the book. That got me thinking about memorable titles--the ones I actually remember as humorous, intriguing, or well crafted. This is a sample of those as well as the ones mentioned on DorothyL. I don't dissect them here because that seems too much like analyzing a joke. Instead I offer a little humor on what has turned into a delightful and warm and sunny Thursday.
If you have a favorite title, I hope you'll add it in the comments.
Below are some fun titles, and below that is a link for more on titles.
The Case of the Blood-stained Egg Cosy, by James Anderson
Started Early, Took My Dog, by Kate Atkinson
Let the Dog Drive, by David Bowman
Cast, in Order of Disappearance, by Simon Brett
Killer Hair, by Ellen Byerrum
The Postman Always Rings Twice, by James M. Cain.
The Man Who Was Thursday, by G.K. Chesteron
The Moving Toyshop, by Edmund Crispin
Skeleton in Search of a Cupboard, by E.X. Ferrars
Smallbone Deceased, by Michael Gilbert
The Man with a Load of Mischief, by Martha Grimes
Death and the Pregnant Virgin, by S.T. Haymon
Carrying Albert Home: The Story of a Man, His Wife, and Her Alligator, by Homer Hickam.
The Unbearable Lightness of Being, by Milan Kundera
The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, by John le Carre
If I'd Killed Him When I Met Him, by Sharyn McCrumb
Bimbos of the Death Sun, by Sharyn McCrumb
A Morbid Taste for Bones, by Ellis Peters
The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, by Oliver Sacks
I Still Miss My Man (But My Aim Is Getting Better), by Sarah Shankman
Leave a comment with a memorable title. And my thanks to DorothyL.