The Rentable Writer

Friday, June 23, 2006

Corny titles (ugh!)

I'm sure this isn't just one of my pet peeves. It can't be. Corny titles have to annoy other people. Corny titles, and cliche titles. Some of the things I see online make me say, "Oh, God ... I can't believe someone would think that's a good title." One I saw recently made my eyes bulge. I've rarely seen a bad title on an actual book. If I saw some of these titles on published novels, I would walk out of the store — not only carrying a different book — but laughing. Here are a few:

    My Eyes Have Fallen, Like the Sky

    Halifax's Last Dragon

    The Book of Magike: Part 1 in the Adventure of Thern Series


I mean absolutely no offense to the people who wrote the manuscripts under these titles. I haven't ready any of the manuscripts, and I'm not saying their writing is bad. I just think their titles are terrible. And that's not a major problem. Advice: If one of the above titles is yours, change it. Immediately.

A lot of these titles come from Science Fantasy manuscripts. And, I admit, I have a thing against Science Fantasy, and Fantasy in general. Don't get me wrong, I've read and loved some Fantasy novels, but when I see opening lines like:

    Tuuriwi-Kang was the lead empress of the Third World, and head princess of the Mordock-Vuun empire. Currently she sat on a throne in the land of Get-Vundukk-Sik, being entertained by a match of Li-Mon. One of the peasants was already dead.

I immediately stop reading and feel like crying. Now, I would be mildly interested by the fact that they were playing a game, but all the Lord of the Rings-type names are by far my biggest pet peeve in writing. I can definitely understand admiration for J.R.R. Tolkien, but there are far too many writers out there who want to be him. And no one ever will be.

I wish Science Fantasy writers would get some sense knocked into them, stop mimicking Tolkien, and come up with good titles. Sorry to all Sci-Fan writers who don't have bad titles.


  • I'd like to nominate "Night Travels of the Elven Vampire."

    By Blogger Serena Joy, at June 24, 2006 10:09 AM  

  • Oh, dear ... I've seen that site before. I loved it. Hahahaha. That's the epitome of all POD trash.

    By Blogger The Rentable Writer, at June 24, 2006 12:54 PM  

  • Titles suck, but I hate to tell you this. Unless you're Mr. Bigshot Writer With Big Contract, 99% of the time your publisher has the final say on your book title. They can call your book anything, and there's nothing you can do about it.

    By Blogger Sandra Ruttan, at June 27, 2006 12:06 PM  

  • sandra: I know you're right. I was talking more along the lines of unpublished work. Things you'll find on the critique page of any writers' forum.

    By Blogger The Rentable Writer, at June 27, 2006 2:53 PM  

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