What’s in a name?

My first headmaster used to sign all his letters “E. Campbell”. I assumed he was Eddie till I found out he was Ebenezer, which explained the “E.”!

You can go mad, fretting over the best title for your book. It seems stupid. It never held the world’s great writers back, so why should it bother me? Shakespeare called his plays “Hamlet” or “Othello”, he didn’t waste his time on fancy titles. Yet some modern authors go to the other extreme e.g. Mark Haddon’s “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time” or Jeanette Winterson’s “Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit”. Do readers really care? Answers in a blog or email, please. Postcards are old hat.

Anyhow, I’ve already tried four different titles for my new enovel. It started out as “Living with Ellen”, then moved on to “Twitchy”. At the time of my last blog, a few days ago, it was “The Girl with the Haunting Smile.” Today, it’s “The Girl with the Julia Roberts Smile”. I’ve got a feeling I may stick with the latest version.


About Richard Louden

Maybe it was because languages were my thing but I loved writing at school and I've loved it ever since. Obviously, I hope others will enjoy reading what I write but, now that I am turning my hand to novels, what matters most to me is to write what, as a reader, I would like to read. As a journalist with UK papers, I've written widely on education, business, sport and law. In the creative writing field, I've written the scripts of two TV dramas (BBC and ITV), contributed sketches to TV and radio comedy shows and had short stories published in national anthologies. That doesn’t make me a novelist but I hope it gives me a push in the right direction.

Posted on June 16, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I read Ray Bradbury’sThe Smile’ recently, believe it or not, my first venture into his work and a wonderful short story it is, I also made my mature french student read it to me for his english lesson which was fun as well. I mention it, because your title reminded of that other famous smile 🙂

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