Thursday, January 29, 2015

D is for Dilemma

Debra is having title trouble.

I am still making nice progress with my latest project. After finishing the first draft, I printed out the mss and did a read-through, marking places needing corrections and other places to go back and tweak a bit. That part is done. The next step will be to go through and do searches for 'that', "saw', 'felt', etc. I'll also run through all of my formatting cues. After that I'll do another read-through.

I need to put together a synopsis and a query letter. At that point, a story is usually ready to send off to my editor.

However, this time around, there is still one major hurdle to story needs a title. And I'm stumped.

It's a holiday spin-off of my Corral series. I'm planning a few more and would like to sub-title the series "Holidays at The Corral". Then, ideally, each story would have a title including the name of the holiday it's representing. My dilemma is this: All of the stories in the original Corral series start with 'This': This Time for Always, This Can't Be Love, and This Feels Like Home.

So, for consistency and to further connect the spin-offs to the series do I go with titles starting with 'This'? All I can come up with is "This is Christmas" which in no way gives any kind of hint as to what the story is about. The theme is about believing, not only in Christmas, but in yourself and in love, so maybe something like "This Christmas I Believe"?

Do I start another theme for just the spin-offs? In the past I thought about using drink names for the spin-offs, since The Corral is a bar, but the only drink I can think of to go with Christmas is eggnog and it's not mentioned at all in the story.

Instead of using a sub-title, do I name each holiday individually for the title? In which case this one would be "Christmas at The Corral". Which works, but would it work for future installments like "New Years' Eve at The Corral" or "Fourth of July at The Corral"?

Seriously. I'm stuck.

Any thoughts? Suggestions? Comments? Concerns? Ideas?


Until next time,

Happy Reading!



  1. I like your final idea - Christmas at The Corral' etc - then you have plenty of options for future titles in the series.

  2. This is a tricky one, Debra, but my thoughts are the same as Paula's. I think it would work for whatever time/season you're setting your book in.

  3. This Christmas I Believe is nice, but sounds inspirational to me. Therefore, I agree with Paula and Margaret.

    1. I was thinking that, too, and it's definitely too spicy/racy to be an inspirational!

    2. I often forget about how my book title or cover might appear to readers because I'm too close to it. When helping others, however, I have a much easier time! : )

  4. I 4th. Christmas at the Corral sounds great, and fits for future stories in the series.

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  6. Thanks, ladies. I really appreciate the input. I was going around in circles with it. Sometimes it's nice to have another brain or two or three or four gnaw on it for a while.

    1. Glad we've been able to resolve your dilemma between us, Debra!