A Title Wave

Some writers find it hard to title their work; others have as much (or more) fun creating titles as they do writing articles, stories, or books. So, just for fun, I asked some of my colleagues and clients: “What title of a nonexistent, imaginary, unwritten, or unpublished work do you love? Or would you love to read if it were available?”

For example, some of my “dream” titles are:

No Grit, No Pearl

Somewhat Intact: A Memoir

Your Best Wife Now!

As I expected, the answers others sent to me were entertaining. They may also be informative for the writer who takes the time to analyze why these titles are so fun and fascinating.

How To Get Your Husband To Realize You Are Always Right
(Chris Storm, author at chris-storm.com)

Don’t Fear the Cloud
(Dr. Alan Ehler, Dean at Southeastern University of the Assemblies of God)

I Should be Ashes by Now: A Self-help Book for Backsliders
(Nanci Rubin, blogger at www.Jesus@InternationalOureach.com)

Viper’s Revenge
(Liz Shoaf, author of Betrayed Birthright, Harlequin Inspirational Suspense)

I Caught My Fly-Guy Fishing (Carol McClain, author of The Poison We Drink: Unforgiveness Destroys)

Junk My Southern Mother Told Me That Came True
(Jane Jenkins Herlong, author of Rhinestones on My Flip Flops)

Fatal Floss
(Mark Leslie, author of The Crossing)

Dolce far Niente for Authors: Reclaiming the Long-Lost Art and Sweetness of Doing Absolutely Nothing
(Patricia Beal, author of A Season to Dance)

How to Keep Going When You’re Going Through Hell
(W. Clay Smith, blogger at unlikelyclay.com)

Falling Through the Cracks
(Texie Susan Gregory, author of Slender Reeds: Jochebed’s Story)

My First Week In Heaven (photos included)
(Chris Storm, author at chris-storm.com)

Frenemies Forever
(Alice Wootson, author of the upcoming historical novel, Hannah’s Freedom)

100 Publishers that Don’t Require a Platform
(Lori Hatcher, author/blogger, Hungry for God … Starving for Time)

Wannabe Wallaby
(Mark Leslie, author of The Crossing)

Chili Frito Pie at Possum Trot
(Debra Coleman Jeter, author of the upcoming Sugar Sands series)

When the Fat Lady Refuses to Sing
(Karen Lynn Nolan, author of the upcoming Appalachian novel, Above the Fog)

Willie Wonka Diet Craze Works!: Sugar Is Good, Veggies Are Bad
(Chris Storm, author at chris-storm.com)

Reining in Rogue Characters: Rewriting the Plot When a Character Changes Your Mind
(Kim Teague, author of The Secret of Jenny’s Portrait)

The Sanity Clause
(Debra Coleman Jeter, author of The Ticket)

The Second Star
(Texie Susan Gregory, author of Slender Reeds: Jochebed’s Story)

Miraculous Events God Made to Change History in the last 200 Years
(Dan Balow, agent extraordinaire)

Your Turn

What would YOUR answer be? What “dream title” would be irresistible to you, and maybe even prime the pump of creativity (of course, you may want to keep in mind that you can’t copyright a title, so if you share a title of an actual work you envision, someone may use it!).



29 Responses to A Title Wave

  1. Avatar
    Andrew Budek-Schmeisser May 23, 2018 at 5:47 am #

    This is fun!

    For me, it’s hands-down the title of a painting by J.M.W. Turner – “Sunrise With Sea-Monsters”.

  2. Avatar
    Rachel McDaniel May 23, 2018 at 5:54 am #

    I always wanted to write a devotional about parenting with the title – Gummy Bears and Sand in Your Hair – the Sweet and Gritty Reality of Motherhood. 🙂

    • Bob Hostetler
      Bob Hostetler May 23, 2018 at 6:35 am #

      I love it, Rachel! Get that proposal to your agent asap!

  3. Avatar
    Rebekah Love Dorris May 23, 2018 at 6:22 am #

    Those are great! I have a trilogy:

    How to Be a Working Mom Without Guilt

    How to Be a Work at Home Mom Without Guilt

    How to Be a Stay at Home Mom Without Guilt


    • Bob Hostetler
      Bob Hostetler May 23, 2018 at 6:38 am #

      Why stop at three?
      How to Be a New Mom without Guilt.
      How to Be a Mother of Adult Children without Guilt.
      How to Write About Guilt without Guilt.
      The series practically writes itself.

  4. Avatar
    Kimberly Joy May 23, 2018 at 6:24 am #

    “Super-short devotionals for super-busy people: How to give God first place in your life when you only have five minutes for him.”

    Hmmm…perhaps that’s a bit too passive-aggressive. 🙂

    • Bob Hostetler
      Bob Hostetler May 23, 2018 at 6:38 am #

      Or self-refuting? I love it.

    • Avatar
      Tisha Martin May 23, 2018 at 10:18 am #

      Ahh, Kimberly, I’m hurting at that one. So true at times… Yep, passive-aggressive, all right. Ouch.

  5. Avatar
    Patricia Beal May 23, 2018 at 6:58 am #

    Thanks for using my dolce far niente one. I actually blogged about it last week.
    Hehe… Jane Jenkins Herlong… The master of titles. She’s too much. Love it 🙂
    Fun post!

  6. Avatar
    Andrew Budek-Schmeisser May 23, 2018 at 7:43 am #

    How about:

    “Throw The Chum Overboard!”: How A Simple Misunderstanding Turned Friends’ Shark-Fishing To Tragedy

    Or maybe:

    Hot Diggity Dog!: Search And Rescue Canines At Chernobyl

    • Avatar
      Jaime May 23, 2018 at 9:30 am #

      Okay, the Hot Diggity Dog one had me laughing out loud all by myself in my office. My co-workers are beginning to wonder about me… (My day job involves mostly a whole lot of numbers, which shouldn’t be funny enough to have me laughing like this.)

      • Avatar
        Tisha Martin May 23, 2018 at 10:04 am #

        Jaime, unless you catch an erroneous error and the result just tickles your fancy so hard you burst out laughing….

        • Avatar
          Jaime May 23, 2018 at 10:10 am #

          True. But I wonder how much more my co-workers would wonder about me if math mistakes tickled me so.

          Especially since they know I hate numbers and math… lol

          • Avatar
            Tisha Martin May 23, 2018 at 10:15 am #

            Eeek, yeah, you may want to refrain, haha. Hate numbers and math? Why do you work with them then? 😉 What’s your job?

            • Avatar
              Jaime May 24, 2018 at 8:25 am #

              Well, I’d rather be writing or speaking or reading my Bible, but they pay me to do accounting and administration/management for a real estate and insurance company that my family started years ago.
              I hate numbers, but I can do them easily, allowing lots of spare time to write (even with kids and church and speaking responsibilities).
              I’ve done a lot of things for a living, and always said the last thing I’d ever be was an accountant!
              But it does keep my brain sharp, using that ‘numbers and business’ part.
              Plus I’m usually one of the only writers at conferences who understands the business side of publishing just as well as the craft of writing.
              But it is weird, I know. Lol!

            • Avatar
              Tisha Martin May 24, 2018 at 9:12 am #

              Jaime, that’s so weird, there isn’t a Reply button above your recent post, so this reply may be placed above it… YES! I agree with your “only one at writing conferences who understand the business side of publishing” quip. We are a small few, eh? I edit during the day and write at night, so I’m familiar with the editorial side of publishing, etc., and was an assistant director of a conference for two years, so I know a bit about the numbers side too. Welcome to the Small Club Where We Are Positioned Well In Our Well-Rounded Services. 😀 Not weird at all.

              I clicked on your name and couldn’t find a website…? What do you write?

            • Avatar
              Jaime May 24, 2018 at 1:23 pm #

              Hopefully this replies properly, I had to reply to your above comment as well.

              All that experience is awesome! I would imagine writers like you are a dream to work with – knowing so many sides to the writing business! It must be a real blessing to have all of that experience when you begin a writing career. What do you write?

              My site name is ForHisFridge. I usually post more often on the Facebook page of the same name. I write non-fiction, and my writing credits are mostly devotionals and shorter articles for Focus on the Family, Hallmark, InCourage and the like. I’m just starting to pursue the idea of full-length manuscripts, I have one finished and am nearing completion on a second.

            • Avatar
              Tisha Martin May 24, 2018 at 3:48 pm #

              Ha, it’s replying properly, just not displaying a Reply button. Eh well…technology! LOVE the name—I’ll have to look it up on Facebook now! Haha, not sure about “being a dream to work with,” but it is an interesting journey (I do enjoy it, by the way!)….funny thing is, we still have to accrue the same amount of numbers for our platform as a regular author. 😀 Writing articles and such is huge in platform, too, and you’re headed in the right direction there, Jaime!

  7. Avatar
    Heather Marsten May 23, 2018 at 8:00 am #

    How about a budget guide to stop people from spending money on needless items:

    Buy Bye

  8. Avatar
    Rebekah Millet May 23, 2018 at 8:22 am #

    My northern friends could use a book like this…
    Pinch the Tail: A guide to eating boiled crawfish and other confusing southern foods

  9. Avatar
    Marcia Laycock May 23, 2018 at 9:20 am #

    How about – What You Never Wanted to Know about Church Discipline

    • Avatar
      Tisha Martin May 23, 2018 at 10:12 am #

      Marcia, yikes! I’ve heard some pretty zany stories…

  10. Avatar
    Tisha Martin May 23, 2018 at 10:11 am #

    Ooh, what fun! I’ve always wanted to write a book about selling online. My title, Life inside the eBay Box: How to Get Out or Get In, and would explore my ten years of buying and selling, successes (turning a penny garage sale purchase into $100) and not-so successes (purchasing 130 vintage hats and trying to resell them individually). There’s also emotional and psychological reasons why we even buy what we buy and sell what we sell. Not to mention the passion behind it all, and working 12- to 14-hour days. Those were the days. . .

  11. Avatar
    Sheri Dean Parmelee May 23, 2018 at 1:46 pm #

    My dream title would be “10 Ways to Lose Weight while Gorging Yourself on Chocolate Brownies” or anything related to over-eating chocolate (to which I am actually allergic!).

  12. Avatar
    Robin Mason May 23, 2018 at 7:48 pm #

    I’m Right, You’re Wrong: the World According to Robin
    *the snark is strong in this one

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