Titles: Why isn’t there an app for that?

I recently read a site dedicated to writing tips, and it lost me on pretty much the first line.   Apparently it is strongly advised that my books have a working title before I start them.  Oh, and it is strongly advised that I keep extensive notes and such… there’s an app for that now, you know.

Quite bluntly, if I waited for a title before I got started, we’d still be waiting for me to start anything at all.   Usually it’s the book itself that gives me the title, there’s some phrase that gets repeated, or just sticks out.   The first, The Emperor’s Finest…well, that was a struggle and I’m still not happy with it.  It’s cliche.  I know it.   It just never bothered to tell me another name, and I couldn’t send it off to publishers calling it “Arien and Niel.”  (As I’ve said before, works in progress are identified by the names of their main character(s) until they show me a working title)

Fall of the Old Guard and its unwritten sequel Rise of the New Guard are pretty self explanatory.  The Harder Right, my single solitary contemporary fiction, is entitled from a line out of the Cadet Prayer for the United States Military Academy (West Point) which reads “Make us to do the harder right, rather than the easier wrong) and it seemed to fit the work much better than just about any of the titles I’ve ever managed to come up with.

Why am I thinking of this?  Well, pretty simple… the sequel to The Emperor’s Finest, currently in editing, has a working title of seq.   I’ve been pounding my head here, because obviously ‘seq’ is just not going to cut the mustard when it comes time to actually do something with it.   My mind is full of ….of the Empire.   Daughter of the Empire…sorry, taken.   Scions of the Empire…ugh.   Harsh blunt instruments of the Empire?   Well,  yes but.  I’ve even contemplated doing the Richard Castle thing and naming it some takeoff of Arien’s last name, but that bogs me down as well.  While Arien does have a commonly used word as a last name, Noble, it’s always been an irony play because she’s not particularly noble, her boyfriend is.

So, as I sit here, staring at the little yellow post it notes clinging to my desk… (A list of the military schools that Gideon would have been through to have been what I said he was, and the cryptic “108 repeats on 188, 188 version stands”)  knowing that there’s an app for that…   I have to ask:

Titles.  Why isn’t there an app for that?

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