Problems with Titles


As I have mentioned, I have a problem with titles when it comes to books. I have no natural capacity for them, and whilst I’m satisfied with the titles I’ve ended up choosing for previous works, they don’t come until very late in the process, and several times the book has spent a long time under one title before I come up with the one that feels better. The first two books of the Tempus Trilogy were ‘The Infernal Device’ and ‘The Two Jacks’ for literally years.

The Legendary Semi-Autobiographical First Novel has been operating under its clearly sarcastic title for decades, and the only printed copy of that first version is under that name. It obviously isn’t going to be applicable to the final, available version, but I’ve been bereft of ideas for anything that might suit.

A few days ago, apropos of nothing, I remembered a very early Talking Heads song with a title that seemed to fit the underlying story reasonably well. I started playing around with it, with different versions and variations, trying to find something that seemed to fit.

Then I went on YouTube to play the song, which I don’t have in my collection. And I discovered I had misremembered the title, which wasn’t anything like as appropriate, indeed, it wasn’t appropriate at all. On the other hand, my misremembered version still fitted. And it had evidently come from my subconscious, where all the heavy lifting is done.

So I’m taking that as evidence that I’m on the right track, and the more I think of it, the more comfortable I become with it. Whereas Talking Heads first broke out with the single, “Love Goes to Building on Fire”, I have now titled 2017s literary project as Love Goes to Building on Sand.

Look for this title before New Year!

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