life, writing

Seeking a Title

I appreciated the input about my WIP on last week’s blog post and thought I’d try asking for advice on my finished novel this week. I’m struggling to come up with a title. I’ve had a few different working titles, and I’m not really sure I like any of them.

Here’s what I’m going to do. Below is a blurb about my finished novel. Beneath that is a clip from the prologue (some of it has been removed for brevity), and then beneath that is a poll to choose a title. I highlighted keywords in pink font that may be important for a title. I’d like to avoid the “fork in the road” cliche.

On the poll, there is an option that says ‘Other,’ and it would be great if you had an idea you’d like to share, too. Thanks in advance for your help.

treetrail (624x800) wm

Blurb: Married to the dysfunctional Whitaker brothers, Ava’s and Meg’s marriages are in the ditch when each discovers the excitement of another man, one who understands the needs of a neglected wife. When the women reach this critical junction in their lives, they each take a different road. One takes the exhilarating route of an affair, the other chooses the bumpy road of working on her marriage. You might be surprised where their paths lead them, and what they learn about themselves along the way.

 

 Prologue

Ava Whitaker

Ava glared at the computer in a daze. The letters blurred, mimicking the whirling haze in her mind.

A man she had met on the internet invited her to meet him in person at a coffee shop. Could she really be considering it? He knew Ava was married and swore he just valued their friendship. They could be friends…couldn’t they?

Ava’s troubled marriage didn’t help matters. Over the past twenty years, her husband switched from calm and compassionate, to insensitive, withdrawn and self-involved. She didn’t know how to awaken the loving man she married who seemed buried deep inside him. Even when they were in the same room, he was absent from their marriage.

Normally, her core principles halted the thought of meeting another man. Nothing should justify contemplating the idea. Could she really be that unhappy?

Back in her single days, Ava knew the men she dated were trouble. She thought she struck gold when meeting and falling in love with a clean-cut, respectful family man. Her hopes for a stable life with him now seemed near impossible.

Meg Whitaker

Meg, the newest member of the symphony orchestra, eyed the conductor as he spoke to a percussionist before rehearsal. Wavy blond hair fell past his neck. Despite a small frame, the defined muscles rippled in his lean arms. Definitely different from her husband’s larger but flabby build.

He moved toward the podium and caught her staring. Their eyes locked for a few intense seconds, until he raised his baton, and they concentrated on the job at hand.

Unexpected giddiness welled inside her. She couldn’t remember ever feeling so aroused. Certainly her husband didn’t elicit such a thrill, not even in the early stages of their relationship.

Meg longed to be understood, and imagined being loved by someone who recognized her talents.

She and the conductor immediately clicked when they met, finding they had much in common. Did she misinterpret his signals, or did he feel it too? She daydreamed about him sweeping her away.

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30 thoughts on “Seeking a Title”

  1. I voted for Saving Whitaker. 🙂 Titles are incredibly hard. Mine usually change a few times as I’m working on something. Publishers frequently change them, if you end up going the traditional route. I usually walk around bookstores and look at what is selling and play around with versions that might work for my book. That’s how I came up with the new one for Reckonings. 🙂

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    1. Thanks for coming over and voting, Kourtney. This is the WIP I was referring to in my comment on your blog. It’s finished now. I just haven’t had a title ‘click’ for me. I appreciate you stopping over.

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  2. I went with “The Women of Whitaker’s Place.” One thing that concerns me about “Saving Whitaker” is that people might form an association with “Saving Private Ryan” in their heads—and that isn’t anything like your story. Or, maybe my brain’s the only one that would make that leap!

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    1. I know what you mean about Saving Whitaker, JM. I think there’s been more than one movie title with Saving Someone or another. That was my working title, and I thought about that point, but wasn’t sure where else to go with it. I appreciate your input and vote.

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    1. The one you chose tends to be the one I lean toward, too, Anita. Reason being, the character Ava feels like she is on a never-ending road to her in-laws place (the Whitakers’ house). They always expect her and her husband to drive there, and it’s 120 miles away. They rarely take the road back to Ava’s house to visit. So, I thought it might be fitting for both the drive on Ava’s part, and the road she chooses when her marriage goes sour. Didn’t mean to go into so much, but there ya go. :-P.
      Nice to see you back. Hope all is well with you.

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      1. No, that’s really interesting and makes the title even more perfect. For some reason, I pictured these women driving home with thoughts rolling around in their heads of their choices. Even better if they have 120 miles to think about things.

        Thanks Lori, it’s great to be back!

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    1. Thank you for the suggestion, Margarita. I usually don’t struggle with titles, but this one has stumped me. I thought I’d get a bunch of ideas and toss the around. I won’t publish until this winter (or later if I go traditional), so I’ve got a bit of time to figure it out. I appreciate your input.

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    1. Hi Robin. I like simple titles. In fact, one of the choices I almost put up was simply, “Avenues.” I like Crossroads, too. I forgot to mention that the women learn some important lessons about themselves along the way. Thank you for popping over with a suggestion for me. Good to see you back.

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    1. Hey Jill. I’m glad the story got you intrigued. I forgot to mention that the women learn some important lessons about themselves along the way. Thank you so much for the vote.

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  3. I like Where the Crossroads Lead. I thought of: Life and Lies of The Whitaker Women, Life and Lies of the Whitaker Sisterhood, Road to Nowhere, Road of Life and Lies, The Junction of Life and Lies. I did the “Life and Lies” because life could represent marriage and lies could represent the affair.

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    1. Thank you, Angela. I forgot to mention that the women learn some important lessons along the way. Which I’ve also thought about incorporating into a title somehow. I appreciate you popping over and sharing your input.

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  4. I like “The Women of Whitakers’ Place” but I also like “Saving Whitaker.” The first one denotes more mischief maybe, while the latter takes a more serious tone (in my mind, anyway). But I’m terrible with titles, so I’m probably the wrong person to ask. 🙂

    Sounds like a great premise. A couple of unhappy and unsatisfied women. Yikes…

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    1. Thank you for your input, Carrie. My original working title was Saving Whitaker. I’m usually pretty good with titles, but this one really has me stumped. I forgot to mention that the women learn some important lessons along the way. I may use a combination of the different titles and/or suggestions. Thanks again. Hope your mom is having a speedy and smooth recovery.

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