Book titles – what’s their purpose?

A Writer of History

What does a book title do for you? Does it entice? Does it hint at the novel’s story? Does it reflect your personal circumstances? Does it confuse?

My current novel-in-process is set in Hong Kong and has no title, rather like an orphan with no name. I had what I thought was a brilliant title for it – East Rising Sun, based on a move in qigong, an ancient practice something like Tai Chi. However, at the urging of my editor, I’m adding a dual timeline to the story which makes this title inappropriate.

I have a collection of possibilities:

  • The Landscape of Time
  • A Necessary Obsession
  • An Island Apart
  • The Other Side of Longing
  • From Within
  • Love is a decision
  • Time and chance
  • Worlds Apart

I write these down at random moments when something sparks an idea and I’m sure I can come up with more. But…

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