The Joy of Sorrowful Things

Did that blog title get ya?  Sure it did – why else would you be reading this?  Sounds profound.  Well, that’s what it was supposed to do.  Be all beguiling and profound.  Except, this is my most frivolous blog post yet!

But this blog is not about any joy found in sorrowful things, it’s about book titles.  You see, I think I have stumbled across the magic formula!  Choosing a title for your book is harder than writing the book itself.  Hell, even harder than the blurb!  And that says something…

Then I stumbled across the magic formula for book titles.  A formula that is guaranteed to get people going ooh, what is this?  A formula that by its sheer application will make your book sound absolutely profound and high-brow, no matter how much main-stream hacking it may be.

The formula is this :  The + [optional adjective] + (verb/noun) + (and/or) + the + [optional adjective] + (verb/noun) = Fantastic Title (TM).

And the more ambiguous the nouns and verbs are, and the more tenuous their relationships, the better!

Do not believe me?  Allow me to illustrate:

Need I carry on?

Maybe I should have named Discovering Leigh “The Submission of Our Chosen Lives” or something equally pretentious instead.  One sounds like an obscure fat bloke wrote a book, the other sounds like an Oscar-winning Charlie Kaufman movie.

But if that formula fails, then go for the obscure one-word title:

Of course, Steve King often uses the one-word title:  Misery, Christine, Carrie, Cujo, Firestarter, Dreamcather, Onsomnia, Desperation, to name a few off the top of my head.  He also uses the best one word title ever:  IT.

Of course, the title of your book need not have anything to do with what’s going on in it.  Maybe I should have named Discovering Leigh something like “Bound” – but that one is taken about 800 times already.  So, random dictionary word of the day: “Substantive”.  Yeah, that will work.   Clever, slightly punny, and even means “belonging to the substance of a thing” – which follows our original formula to begin with!

So, how about these then?


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