Yesterday afternoon I reached the sixty-first page of my newest manuscript — and the point at which I was officially sick of calling it by my protagonist’s name. Honestly, where’s the inspiration in Winifred—Book?

Since I’d already written my daily allotment of six hundred of words (716, actually), I decided a new title was the next order of business. After a half hour of puttering I came up with a list of titles, all rejects. Granted, I hadn’t given it a lot of time, but I called in reinforcements anyway. My husband took on the challenge, armed with enthusiasm and a dictionary of international slang. The former was helpful; the latter, not so much.

The story is a middle-grade novel with fairy tale elements, which is why we (very inaccurately) became stuck on the princess theme. Here are a few of the results, some suggested in earnest, some in fits of hilarity, many inspired by that blasted slang dictionary I could not wrest from my husband’s hands:

  • Your Basic, Everyday, Standard Princess
  • The Princess and the Peace
  • Pretty, Pretty Princess
  • Pretty, Gritty Princess
  • Pretty Ugly Princess
  • The Vainglorious Princess
  • Proto-Princess


The end result is that I’m no closer to a title, and the word “princess” has begun to sound strained and strange from repetition, but at least I can say I gave it a shot. Titles are usually fun, so I’m sure I’ll come up with something eventually.

Many of you write — books, blogs, etc. How do you come up with your titles? What, in your opinion, makes a good — or bad! — one?