1. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    Should i avoid already used titles?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Lea`Brooks, Aug 25, 2015.

    Hola!

    So my current WIP is called Exaltation. This has been the title of it for years upon years. The story has changed dramatically since I first named it, but the title remained the same. And now, it no longer fits the book. So I wanted to change it, preferably to "Desolate," but the title has already been used before.

    Is it common practice to avoid titles that have already been used? Should I come up with a different name?


    Love to hear your opinions. :) Thanks!
     
  2. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    There are plenty of books with titles that have been used in other works. I wouldn't worry about it, unless it is some extremely well-known title like Harry Potter and the Whatever, in which case you may run into trouble.
     
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  3. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Yes, I agree with Steerpike. Stay away from the titles from famous works if possible. While not wrong, it's seen as disrespectful in many cases. Using "Desolate" should be fine, however. You may end up changing the title later anyway.
     
  4. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    And, with famous titles, it could actually turn out to be a legal problem if you run afoul of trademark issues (which is exactly what would happen in the Harry Potter case).

    There's something to be said for a distinctive, unusual title that will grab the reader's attention, so that may be another reason not to go with one that has been used before.
     
  5. Stephanie Norman
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    Stephanie Norman New Member

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    I agree that you can put title that was used before if it is not too famous. As for me, the main point to consider while coming up with a title is creativeness and something that will be easy to remember for your readers. Do not forget to think like your reader, not like a writer! Good luck!
     
  6. Jaro
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    Jaro Active Member

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    Also you might make sure your finished story doesn't resemble that other book as well. I can imagine that might stir up some issues as well.
     
  7. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thanks everybody!

    Desolate seems to really fit the theme of my story, so I latched into it as soon as it came to mind. I want to do a sort of "D" theme, where each book on the series would start with D. I had more names in mind last night, but now I can't remember any of them... :\

    Anyway. The other Desolate was published over a year ago, doesn't seem to be very popular, is nothing like my story, and is targeting a different age group than me. So I think I'd be okay to go ahead with the title.

    I may add more to it than just Desolate (and I'll be sure to avoid Desolation), but one word titles seem to be popular right now, so maybe I won't!

    Thanks again!
     
  8. Sifunkle
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    Sifunkle Dis Member

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    As long as they weren't Darkly Dreaming/Dearly Devoted/etc Dexter, for the aforementioned copyright issues ;) But I quite like when a series (or even an author's disparate works [ooh, there's a nice D-word!]) has a naming theme, as long as the titles work in their own right.

    Jokes/references/opinions aside, my point is about 'searchability'. It's harder to google a one-word title, especially when other works use it. If someone wants to find your book they still will, but if a potential reader had lots of options or was only mildly interested, they might give up. This hinders marketing, although it's probably only a minor handicap, hardly a dealbreaker.

    I knew of a band that went by 'is'. They changed names pretty quickly (even prior to Islamic State being a thing) :D
     
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  9. AASmith
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    AASmith Contributing Member

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    Many books have the same name. I think as long as you are not picking a hugely popular book and using that name then you should be fine. Also I would not worry about it too much as the name of the book may change many times between now and completion and should you get a publisher your name might change after that too. who knows.
     
  10. C. W. Evon
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    C. W. Evon Member

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    Just a thought--and this may be just me, since as you said one word titles are popular--I have a really, really, really difficult time remembering one word titles. They aren't distinctive enough. Personally I like slightly longer ones with a bit of poetry to them, because those stick in your mind. But again, I may be in the minority here since the one word titles are so popular.
     
  11. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    This is what I came here to say. A title is an identifier; its purpose is to identify. It does not serve its purpose if it identifies two different things.

    The perfect title is one that is not currently in Google's index. When you search it, you get no results.

    Granted, tons of titles do not adhere to this principle; it is simply the deciding factor in how I would choose a title.
     

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