Monday, July 26, 2010

I Can't Even Title This Post

I need to come up with a title for my book. Pretty much now.

As regular readers know, I've written a contemporary retelling of "The Snow Queen." It takes place in Minneapolis in the present day, and also the magical fairy tale woods place that exists within it. You know. Plus there's the lair of the Snow Queen. It's, of course, tropical.

I was calling it The Snow Queen. I know it's a bit of a stretch. But the book is actually really far away from the fairy tale now, and retellings don't tend to keep the name of the tale anyway. I need to change it.

I hate titles. I'm terrible at them. I had to retitle the third book in my trilogy. It went from The Promethean Flame to The Immortal Fire. This took me a year.

My goals are simple: I want something that doesn't immediately make someone go, "Huh?" I want something that could not possibly be used for a mass market adult mystery/romance set in Minnesota. I want something that doesn't sound like a fantasy taking place in some barren realm where it's always winter until some girl/boy comes and through the warmth of his/her heart causes the whole place to thaw and then spring bursts forth from the deadlands like that one planet after the Genesis thingy landed on it and then Spock died.

This cuts out a lot.

My bookshelves taunt me. A Wrinkle in Time. The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankeweiler. E.L. Konigsburg, now, that chick can title.

Anybody? I think The Wrath of Khan is taken.


  1. Spock didn't really die. He just, like, I don't know, floated around in space or something. Now all I can think of is that guy who yelled "I feel your pain!" and then latched onto that lit-up guy.

    How about "A Guy, A Gal, and the Snowy Regent of the Yucatan?" Do some kind of list thingy with serial commas using the talismanic images from your book.

    What are some titles you've come up with already? Maybe we can mess around with those a little bit.

    Boss of the Blizzard, Nanook of the North, Queen Liar and her Tropical Lair, Sno-Cone Pyromania, Be More Chill.

    Aw, geez, my brain just slithered away again. Who needs that thing anywaysdfj atroidsop8y987

  2. I've been doing the title dance with one of my projects the past few days. Coincidentally, it also has to do with snow. Anyway, here's my stab at your book title. Maybe something like "City of Snow"?

  3. about an amalgam? "The Mixed-up, Would-Be Queen of Saint Cloud, Minnesota"? :)

  4. My grandmother always said, "Cold hands, warm heart."

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Here are a few bona fide suggestions:

    * The Snow and the Splinter
    * The Frost and the Splinter
    * Sunfrost
    * Cold Spell
    * The Clearest Cold

    Of course, if those don't work, there's always:

    * Evil Almost Wins, But Then It Doesn't

    Or, depending on how things shake out in your version:

    * Myopic Kid Gets What's Coming To Him

    Failing all that, you're probably stuck with:

    * The Wrath of Anne

    Which isn't so much a title as a state of affairs. But hey, at least it's honest.

  7. Hmmm...

    Slant 'til Spring



    The Squeakquel?

    The title will find you, Anne. Best wishes!

  8. Ack! You have my sympathies, Anne. I, too cannot stand titling my books. It's awful. Books shouldn't have to have a title. Or at least it shouldn't matter.
    My solution, as of late is to ask Mary Logue. She is a most excellent titler. (is titler even a word? If not it should be Mary's title, as in: Mary, The Most Excellent Titler.)

  9. I second Lisa's suggestion. Mary has a knack for it.

    In the meantime:
    -City of Frozen Lakes?
    -Don't Be a Menace While Pulling Enchanted Mirrors from Your Eye in the Hood?
    -The Big Chill? (I actually really like this; it's not taken yet, is it?)

    Those weren't helpful at all, were they? My apologies, but I have trouble with titles, too. I'm confident you'll settle on the right one soon, though!

  10. The Barren Soulless Realm of the Soul!

  11. Drip Drip Death (can't remember who's responsible for that one)

  12. Um...yeah..."Drip Drip Death" was mine, but I'm totally willing to lend it out... (It actually wasn't a title at all but a rather depressing final line to a story about a melting glacier.) Speaking of melting, I'm with Mellisa on Melted or something in that area.

  13. Mandy, I'm so glad the phrase "drip, drip, death" is taking a on a life of its own. ;-)

    Anne, when I was at the museum, we spent forever on exhibition titles. First there were long lists of words & phrases. Then trying various combinations. We tried to focus on the single most important idea/emotion that would intrigue visitors. Then balance that w/ making sure the promise of the title was accurate to the exhibition. Good luck!

  14. I love the winner above about a myopic boy
    and the menace from the frozen hood --of course melting is really cool

    So that leaves the melting myopic menace...maybe m words.
    I really did look through the snow queen and couldn't find anything that struck me as perfect.

    Tinderbox is a cool image Anderson uses, then there's that horribly freaky story about a shadow.
    -Melting Shadow
    my husband just wrote a YA fantasy with something called "The Freeze" I liked that too.
    You said this book was about grief, and all Anderson's stories seem to be about that--like the red shoes or the little mermaid. You like long titles, so I'm sure it will be easy to put a little hint of his work into your title, but make it your own. Anything sad will work right? Georgia practically has a degree in Anderson, ask her-- she'll have something to help. Good luck!
    p.s. It's hard to brainstorm about winter in the summer, maybe an old journal would help.

  15. A couple suggestions from Emma (10) and your newest fan, Anthony (8).

    The Icy Chill Breaks
    Fast Ice
    Icy Dawn

    Anthony is proudly on page 155 of "The Shadow Thieves"

    Good luck!
    Kathleen Walsh

  16. How about Palace of Ice? A not-so-sly wink to native son F. Scott Fitzgerald's short story "The Ice Palace."