Welcome to the Darkside...

...join me, Akasha Savage, as I brave the deepest dungeons and scale the misty mountains to achieve my dream: to see my novel Bathory in print. I will take you by the hand and keep you beside me as I cross this uncharted territory...

...let us step into the moonlit darkness together...

Monday, 1 March 2010

I name this book....er.....mmmm...ah....

Firstly, I must apologise for my lack of posts these last couple of weeks, but I am a bit of a Winter Olympics fan. I'm not really into sport in a heavy way (apart from motorbike racing and show jumping and World Cup Football), but I LOVE the Winter Olympics: I think it's because I would really love to participate in the sports themselves. I really regret not being able to skate or ski...or snowboard come to that...and from a very early age I always wanted to be part of a bob-sleigh team!
Anyway, as exciting as it's been, the Olympics is over for another four years and I can concentrate on my writing once more.

A few blog posts ago I was bemoaning how difficult I thought it was, deciding whereabouts in the timeline my novel should begin; it took me three or four attempts before I settled on a first chapter I was happy with.

The other thorn in my side is the title.

I think finding the right title is so important.When I'm shopping around for a new book, it is, nine times out of ten, the title that draws me in. But how do you know if the title you choose for your work-in-progress is the right one? What defines a good title?

When I first started writing Bathory I simply christened my wip Vampire; I hadn't given the title much real thought. As I worked more and more on the novel I began to think more and more about a name for my creation. In the story Erzsebet Bathory and her side kick can transform themselves into ravens. A flock of ravens is known as an 'unkindness', so for a while The Unkindness became my working title.

A few weeks later I read an article about James Herbert. In the article the author explained the reasoning behind some of the titles he'd given his novels. Mr Herbert said how people (readers) always like to feel included in some sort of secret: books with the word 'secret' in their titles, always sold well.
Mmmmm. My book became Dark Secrets at Ravens' End.

I still wasn't thoroughly convinced. I still wasn't completely happy with the title of my novel. I'm still not.

I have finally settled on Bathory. It is the title I feel most comfortable with.

At the moment.

And of course, it still has to go through the hands of an agent and a publisher...

...they will most probably have ideas of their own......


  1. I think the Dark Secrets title sounds too much like an older style gothic. I like Bathory pretty well. I do believe titles are very important and I spend a lot of time concocting them. I also keep a list of titles that I might ONE day use.

  2. I'm with Charles on this one. I like "Bathory." But a lot of your results will depend on the cover picture, don't you think?

  3. "Bathory" works for me. It's got a concise and unique air about it. Oddly enough when I come up with titles, the novel length stuff gets a fairly abbreviated title while my short stories have been getting titles that stretch out a bit further. Go figure.

  4. I'm just terrible at titles... but I agree that they're very important.
    The word "unkindness" appeals to me. Maybe you could still use it somewhere in the title. Bathory is fine but it makes me think more of a historical novel or of a non-fiction book.

  5. Titles are tough. I lean toward one word titles myself. I guess I like the "keep it simple, stupid" philosophy--or I'm really lazy, lol. But I like Bathory, too. It works. Like Madonna. One name says it all.


  6. Thanks everyone, it was really good to get feedback on my title. It really is a hard decision to make. I'm so glad most of you like 'Bathory' as it is my favourite too. Here's hoping one day it will be as much a well-known title as 'Dracula'!!

  7. I've just wandered over here during a break from the WIP. Titles are much on my mind at the moment, not least because (today at least; I'm having an off day) I much prefer my WIP's title to the actual novel. Do I carry on with the WIP for the sake of the title (Basic Theology for Fallen Women), or if I continue to feel like this, do I ditch the title and the book?

    By the way (and more to the point), while I like your title, I (for one) would have difficulty remembering it, and it's hard to recommend a book if you can't rememeber the title (this often happens to me). But the lovely thing about a WIP title is that it can be changed. Once it's done and dusted, it can't. Very good luck with it, anyway, Akasha.