Tuesday, April 16, 2013

More About Titles

Bethany's post about title made me think about my own titles.

For my Deputy Tempe Crabtree mysteries, I've used a lot of quotations from Native Americans and plucked a couple of words out of them for titles such as Invisible Path, Wing Beat and Dispel the Mist. The one that I'm working on now has a title from an Indian quotation, Spirit Shapes. However, I don't always do that, last year's was Raging Water which came from the fact that most of the troubles going on in the little town of Bear Creek were because the river had swollen to flood conditions.

This series I write as Marilyn Meredith.

F.M. Meredith is the name I use for my Rocky Bluff P.D. series.

I never seemed to have any problem coming up with title for my Rocky Bluff P.D. series because the story itself seemed to create it.

Final Respects The story of the death of a popular police officer, a mortician and a mortuary, and a funeral.

The many bad tidings that police officers must deliver was easily named Bad Tidings.

A bad cop uses his job for nefarious means in Fringe Benefits.

Smell of Death has three gruesome murders and is the beginning of the romance between Officer Stacey Wilbur and Detective Doug Milligan.

Two churches, two ministers and two wives and murder made No Sancturary  a logical title.

An Axe to Grind besides being a play on words also refers to the murder weapon.

And Angel Lost is also a play on words and refers to two plot threads.

The reason for the title No Bells isn't revealed until the end.

The latest book in the series was harder for me to name--in fact, one of the members of my critique group came up with the title Dangerous Impulses.

I am working on the latest and I had the title before I really had an idea for the plot. One of my fans suggested it, and it's a great title and immediately let me know what my Rocky Bluff P.D. detectives would be faced with. No, I'm not going to tell you what it is just yet.

Marilyn aka F. M. Meredith

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Marilyn! I'm always interested to hear how other authors come up with their titles. You gave me some great ideas here. I love the titles for your books!

    For my Skeet Bannion series, they all lead off with "Every," and they're thematic. One of the major themes of the first book is how dangerous secrets can be--EVERY LAST SECRET. In the second book (out May 7), betrayal and broken trust of many kinds abound--EVERY BROKEN TRUST. I'm writing the third book now, and its major theme has to do with how the fears we hide deep inside us control us and damage our lives. Its title is EVERY HIDDEN FEAR.

    I've written a couple of other novels, but titling them is one of the toughest things, I think. I have no rule, as I do for the Skeet books. As far as my poetry books go, titles come from key poems. SKIN HUNGER was a book of passionate love poems and contained a poem called "Skin Hunger." HEART'S MIGRATION drew its tile from a poem of that name. The themes for the whole book were laid out in that poem. My newest book, DARK SISTER, was originally going to be called INDIAN TIME, but my friend Richard Blanco insisted that I title it after the poem, "Dark Sister," and I came to see that he was absolutely right.

    Titles are a lot of work!