Wednesday, September 9, 2009

In a Word

Have you noticed the trend in one-word titles? They were all over the place at the writers' conferences I went to this year, as well as all over the bookshelves. I'm thinking of BONK, SPOOK, STIFF, CRANK, MARKED, TWILIGHT, ECLIPSE, OUTLIERS, NURTURESHOCK (cheating--a fake compound word), CATASTROPHE, COLLAPSE, and so on. Kelley Armstrong specializes in terse titling. Witness her series: BITTEN, BROKEN, HAUNTED, STOLEN. You may want to check her website for any contests to help her think of the next ten books. Maybe SCORCHED. Or PILLAGED. Or FLAYED. And then she could branch out into a Young Adult series: SNUBBED or REJECTED or DUMPED or PIMPLED.

There are benefits to not naming your book THE GUERNSEY LADIES LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY. For instance, all the text fits on the cover and spine in huge lettering. For another, men might buy your book. MOURNING BECOMES CASSANDRA is probably too much of a mouthful as well, but at least a handful of people think I've written MOURNING BECOMES ELECTRA, and that's got to be good for my reputation.

Read any good one-word titlers lately?

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