It’s too easy to ignore the obvious when advice is needed. Although I have to say, I wasn’t actually seeking advice at the time. My husband asked if I had submitted my latest story to The Wild Rose Press. Ahh, no, not yet. Why not, he asks. It took a moment before it came to me. I was still unhappy with the manuscript. I hadn’t been able to put on finger on why until we continued talking and I had a light bulb moment. Now I believe it was the whole title thing that was tripping me up. I just didn’t like the title I’d chosen.
I’d been toying with that title for ages. In fact ever since I began the story, I wondered what I might be able to call it. I devoted a whole page of a 1B5 notebook to possible names I could use. I googled most suggestions and either found similar titles or decided they didn’t suit. Keeping in mind the obvious advice to make your title reflect the story content, I wanted to include the word ‘marriage’. How many adjectives can one person attach to the word marriage? A lot. I did make a point of mentioning my searches to my husband least he comes across them at some time in the future. Many of my searches resulted in ‘marriage guidance’ type advice.
I got hold of my trusty little notebook and read some of the options I had initially considered before selecting “Jeoparized Marriage”. As the story involves a marriage falling apart, I had words like danger, peril, jeopardy scribbled down. Then flailing, struggling, strained, broken, threatened, endangered. Any or all of these words could convey my intention of showing the content of my story with its title. But which one resonated with me? Which one might tempt a future reader to click on the title to read further?
I quietly chose to ignore the advice being handed to me until one struck home. ‘Marriage at Risk’ is about to become the title of my newest story. I think I was trying to find something too flowery when a simple title does the job better. I found romance titles like ‘Risky Marriage’ and ‘Marriage Risk’ but to me, these convey a different set of circumstances to my story, so I’m sticking with “Marriage at Risk” – if it gets accepted by The Wild Rose Press.
Now to decide if my synopsis is worthy of an editor’s time.