Book Writing Series II: The Name

What’s in a name?

For me, the name of a story is a genuine energy source.

The name we were given, and names we adopt throughout life, become part of our identity. It’s no different with stories and books. As with any other object or subject, a name adds something intangible to its essence.

We gave it a name.

A name is a way to (re)call something back to you. A way to assert your mastery over that something. Of course, the latter is illusory at best. Material objects and living beings are just part of brief experiences and borrowed time. Every story may pour from within us, take form and life through us, but once released into the world is no longer ours.

It is not inspiring or interesting to me to work on project “X” or “Y”. Even if the final title ends up bearing little resemblance to the first “working title”, from its initial conception the book has to have a name relevant to the story I’m creating.

A name cannot be generic, or it’ll feel generic, and generic doesn’t make for good writing.

  • That first name begins to establish a more intimate connection with the story.
  • The name becomes a clue or series of clues to follow to unravel the story itself.
  • Curiosity about what the name suggest spurs us forward when focus is lacking.
  • The name weights the abstract idea down, so we might capture and keep it.

The 3rd time is the charm.

Amelia, Darling was a first good option. It had a similar vibe to Sweet Abigail. In fact, I realized it’s Abigail’s preferred way of calling her step-daughter, Amelia Luna.

A Paris Summer shifted the focus to the physical location where the main story takes place. Paris of course, and the season (summer) which will be a character in itself. Summer will be the backdrop, it will color Amelia Luna’s journey, through adolescent to adulthood, and the life creates for herself there.

Moon over Paris subtly combines the two. Moon means “luna” in Spanish, and “lune” in French and its diminutive “lunette” (little moon) is her father’s nickname for the protagonist, Amelia Luna. It’s the way she actually likes to be called. Paris is there, to stand for the city of light and all its possibilities. The moon adds to that mysterious light. The moon is a quiet witness, the moon in its solitude, coldness, is a reflection of the personality and inner struggle of the protagonist herself, and her fate.

Confess: What was the first working title of your latest story?





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