Sandra leapt out of convalescence to speak to us about the ‘packaging’ needed once you have written your novel.
Whether your working title prevails or whether the title is chosen afterwards, it needs to reflect the substance of the story. The old idiom “Don’t choose a book from its cover” may work as a metaphor, but not as a literally truth; how else can you choose?
Sandra talked us through the choices and thought processes which went into choosing the titles for her Lorimer series of murder mysteries. The inspiration sometimes came from remembered lines of poetry or prose, sometimes there was input from an agent. Some titles were more apt or ‘worked better’ than others. The cover’s artwork coexists with the title to ‘sell’ the book.
We were each provided with three or four sentence ‘blurbs’ or synopses from three different novels. There was then a ten minute exercise for each of us to provide titles for all three. Creative juices came out to play. Results were interesting and often apt. If we had had ten days rather than ten minutes for the exercise, would the results have been better?
Sandra feels that the reader deserves a satisfactory ending after the main action has finished.
There was now another exercise (twenty minutes) to create an ending or last page appropriate for any (or all) of the three blurbs used in the titles exercise.
This was tricky! (modern word - ‘challenging’). From the blurb, we had to create in our minds, the bulk of the novel, (but not express it on paper) and then go on to write the final page.
Most of us struggled to write an ending for just one blurb. One member effortlessly created three.
It was hard labour both from Sandra and for club members, but an extremely interesting and thought provoking session.
Thank you, Sandra.