In the Dark: About Titles, Writing and Eclipses

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I usually develop the titles to my books somewhere in the early stages of writing. I know the theme, I know the murder weapon and motive, and I know the red herrings that will be swimming through the story. The title usually comes from one of those. This time around, I find myself in the dark.

Simple three books

My current work in progress takes place on a cruise ship traveling from New York to Bermuda. Our hero, Philadelphia detective Adam Kaminski, must figure out who poisoned the Claypoole family patriarch—and how—before the ship docks and all the witnesses (and suspects) hit the open seas. But first he has to convince himself that he still has what it takes to catch a murderer.

I really want to title the book, Through a Glass Darkly. It’s part of a verse from the bible, 1 Corinthians 13:12, “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” I love the poetry of the words and also the theme it implies—being in the dark but eventually finding your way to the light. After all, isn’t that what happens in most mysteries?

It didn’t take much polling of friends and readers to realize my working title wasn’t a hit. Too many people didn’t get the reference. And my books are not religious in any way, shape or form, so I really don’t want to give the wrong impression.

That led me to working title number two, Voices Carry. It fits with one of the elements of the story. It’s short, kind of catchy. It would work as a title. But I just kept thinking about the darkness.

Eclipse

Today is an appropriate day to think about darkness, obviously. I’m not on the path of the total eclipse, sadly, but I was able to see a partial eclipse. I loved watching not only the eclipse itself, but also its effect on the shadows on the ground around me. They became visibly crisper, cleaner. I’m a huge fan of shadows, so for me that was one of the highlights.

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Light and dark, shadows and sun. I need a title that captures it all. Being in the dark, then seeing clearly.

Right now, I’m on working title number three, A Pale Reflection. I’m toying with changing that to A Dark Reflection.

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At some point soon, I need to make a decision! I’m still hoping the right title with come to me, focused like an eclipse-sharpened shadow. Or perhaps a sign from above, like the blotting out of the sun.

If any of you have any suggestions, I’m open to ideas! Let me know what you think!

For more information about Jane Gorman’s books, visit janegorman.com or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

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About janegorman

Mystery writer
This entry was posted in Jane Gorman, mystery and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to In the Dark: About Titles, Writing and Eclipses

  1. ambfoxx says:

    A Dark Reflection is stronger than A Pale Reflection, but since this takes place on a ship, I’m drawn to some sort of image of dark waters or deep waters. Titles are hard. I changed the working title of most of my books several times. Through Dark Waters? I don’t know. Will they pass the Bermuda Triangle? Will it have any role?

    Liked by 1 person

    • janegorman says:

      I like the deep water imagery, too. And dark waters. And I’m thinking of dark waters that reflect a blurry image… I don’t mention the Bermuda Triangle in this, but now you mention it, perhaps I should!

      Like

  2. patyjag says:

    Murder in the Bermuda Triangle, Deadly Waters, Three sides of Death. Not very good but might jog an idea for you. I like the premise of the book. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. skyecaitlin says:

    Jane, I adore your original title: Through a glass darkly ( love the verse, too).

    Like

  4. marilynm says:

    Titles are odd, some are so obvious, others like what you are going through take a lot of thought. Good post.

    Like

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