What’s in a title?

When I started writing my first book I didn’t think a title was of any importance. In fact, I was three-quarters of the way through before a very wise owl told me, ‘I’ve got a title for you. Try it on for size.’

I did and never looked back.

A title, you have to realise, can be changed. It’s not set in stone. So, I started on the last quarter of the novel, now entitled A Closer Evil, and would you believe, the themes gradually came into focus, the characters cheered because they knew what they had to do. Simply put: I was focused.

With my second book, the title was the spark behind all my ideas. I wrote it, with one title in mind, reached the end and knew it wasn’t quite right. Its initial title would have been fine, only it felt a little like a slightly baggy jumper. But the difference between the second novel and my first is that it was already so much more focused because I started off with a title.

Don’t forget you’re in control and if your title doesn’t fit, it’s up to you to change that. Ultimately as a writer you want that title to shout, ‘READ ME! I’M ENTERTAINING!’ And then to have written a manuscript that delivers.

So, my second book is called The Killing Diary: it is about just that.


Published by Lottie Phillips & Louise Stone

Bestselling women's fiction & thriller writer with HarperCollins.

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