Title or Blurb? (IWSG Nov)

It’s that time of the month again. No, not the post-Hallowe’en candy migraine (I didn’t even decorate, and played humbug with no treats either this year; how about you?). It’s the Insecure Writer’s Support Group blog hop. I know, it’s just as exciting.

The Insecure Writer's Support Group image with the name of the group and a lighthouse in the background in sepia

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

IWSG Ninja Leader, Alex J. Cavanaugh

The awesome co-hosts for the November 3 posting of the IWSG are Kim Lajevardi, Victoria Marie Lees, Joylene Nowell Butler, Erika Beebe, and Lee Lowery.

This month, we are thinking about finished books with the following question:

What’s harder to do, coming up with your book title or writing the blurb?

I can’t wait to see the responses to this one. I feel like it’s going to be polarising.

I wrote about titles back in April this year, when I announced the current title for my first book, On Solar Winds. For the longest time, this book was simply referred to as Book One in the Archivist Series. I couldn’t figure out the best name–and in some ways, it still doesn’t matter. Not until publication, anyway. There are lot of things that can change before then, and the book’s title is certainly one of them.

Want to know how I came up with the name? I chucked my manuscript into a word cloud generator and chose the name based on the words that came up most frequently. Solar Winds is the name of my protagonist’s ship, but by calling the book ‘On Solar Winds’, it served to give it a science-fiction feel and a double meaning. One beta reader told me the title “…is just so pretty and evocative. It makes me think of glowing spaceships, limned by starlight, moving ponderously through space.” (Thanks, Grace!)

Not bad, then. 😉

For the blurb, I must have written a million versions. There’s the two-minute elevator pitch version, the Twitter-length pitch, the one-page summary, and the short back-copy summary… Which so far, I have only drafted. But the more I do it, the better I get at fitting all the ideas inside that one short description. And feedback has been vitally important.

I’ve not done the back-copy for my next book, but I have started the habit of writing a one to two-sentence pitch before I start short stories and novels, now. This draws on Randy Ingermanson’s Snowflake Method of planning, where you expand your idea in stages. By summarising the main points from the start, I am able to see the big picture ideas and story draws, which makes writing a blurb easier.

I also firmly believe that you must try reading it with a deep, cinema narrator’s voice in your head to see if it sounds epic enough…

For me, there’s a difference between book titles and short story titles. I’m terrible at the latter (you only have to browse my published shorts on this website to see that). A good short story title should tell you more, should enhance the story all by itself. Novels… well, they can be descriptive titles and still get away with it, as long as the blurb hooks you in. Novel titles have help.

All in all, I’d say that writing the blurb is harder, but that’s because I have some flexibility in hand for the titles of books. How about you?


Golden marigold flower in bloom
Marigold flower by Ankit Bhattacharjee from Pexels
Header image , November, by Boris Pavlikovsky from Pexels

As for what else I’ve been up to, I love that it’s my birthday month! I’ve something planned for later this month, and another publication soon–which helps, when the rejections keep flowing in. Just keep writing, as the saying goes.

It’s the middle of spring here, so I’ve been busy planting seeds and harvesting the last of the sugar snap peas. We had a bumper winter lettuce crop, but sadly the chillies didn’t do so well. I’m looking forward to summer herbs, sunflowers, patio veggies, and leafy greens. I’ve got a saucer of bright nasturtiums next to me as I write. I’ve also got a new standing desk setup which I will blog about soon, and I’m working on a YA fairytale/scifi mashup novella at the moment. It’s a lot of fun! But it means I’m not doing NaNoWriMo this year–I’ve other goals to be getting on with. Good luck to you if you’re participating, and good words and/or reading to all my readers whatever you are up to.

Hope you have a great week. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the IWSG blog hoppers over at this list! 🙂

6 thoughts on “Title or Blurb? (IWSG Nov)

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