Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Naming Game

When I started writing my current novel, set in Mobile, Alabama, and Costa Rica, I labeled it “Megachurch,” a working title. Over the course of its development, encouraged by members of my bi-weekly writers’ group, I’ve experimented with other titles. There have been two or three versions of “The Tattoo, “The Unholy Tattoo,” “Pastor Matt’s Tattoo,” etc., but I’ve never been happy with the use of that device in the title. It figures in the plot, but is not central to the message of the book and probably not appealing to the readers for whom I write.

As I move into Draft 7 of my editing and rewriting process, I’ve put a new label on this book-in-progress. The manuscript now bears the heading “Sunrise in the Cloud Forest.” That describes the climactic event in the novel, and also suggests its overarching theme. At last I have a title I feel good about. It just might endure.

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