Writing Tips

Writing Tip: Titling Your Book

I recently saw a debate online. Should you title your book before you start writing or after you are finished? Each options offers you different results and opportunities.

Choosing a Title Before You Start Writing

Some authors may decide to choose the title of their story before actually writing the story itself. Why? They may find it motivating and that it helps set the direction for the entire book. Some people also just find it super satisfying to have a title solidified.

Choosing a Title After You Finish Writing

Some authors wait to choose a title for their story until after finishing writing it because they are uncertain of which direction their story will go. Sometimes, authors do not make a conscientious decision to wait, but rather, they are unable to title something until it is complete because they cannot think of an appropriate title without all the information before their eyes.

Which is better?

Neither.

That’s right. In my opinion, neither option is better than the other as it depends on the type of author that you are. In fact, I think that both can be extremely restrictive. So here is my best advice:

Feel free to choose a working title before you begin. What is a working title? A working title is a temporary place-holder for the real title. For example, my current working title for my book is The Agency Games, but the publishers may choose to change it. Likewise, your real title might be the exact same as your working title, or it may be completely opposite.

The best decision when it comes to titles is flexibility.

A working title gives you that initial sense of direction that many authors crave, plus it gives you something to call it besides just “that-thing-I-spend-all-my-time-agonizing-over.” However, because you know it’s a working title, you are not so reluctant to later part with it if it needs revision.

What do you think? Do you choose your title before or after writing your book?

Leave a comment below!

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