Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Help Us Name A Book!

The talented Elizabeth Bunce* has written a YA novel that I'm editing -- a book-length retelling of "Rumplestiltskin" that has been described as "a mystery, spun with a ghost story, woven with a romance, and shot through with fairy tale." It is very, very good, and will be published in Spring 2008.

But you will note that I did not include the title in that summary, and that is because -- we don't have one! Or rather, we have lots of them, or lots of elements of them, and we're trying to find the right combination of elements to convey the mystery, ghost story, romance et al. If you'd like to help us out with this quest, please head on over to Elizabeth's LJ and weigh in. There's chocolate and galleys in it if we pick yours. Many thanks!
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* (Trivia for my quiz-bowl friends: Elizabeth is the sister of Scott Bunce from Iowa State.)
** (Trivia for my non-quiz-bowl friends: All pet hamsters are descended from a single female wild golden hamster found with a litter of twelve young in Syria in 1930.)

20 comments:

  1. Thanks for pointing us to Elizabeth's journal. I enjoyed reading about her/your title ideas and thinking about all the elements necessary to make a successful title.

    I have to find a new title for a novel-in-progress, because my *perfect* title has recently been taken. Boo. Hoo.

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  2. Hmmm ... sounds more challenging than GHOST DOG IN THE WHITE HOUSE -- no romance in that plot.

    How ironic for a Rumpelstiltskin novel that you're in search of a name...

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  3. Pricked by the Spindle's Curse

    I'm not sure if my message went through at the other blog.



    Coll

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  4. I love CURSE SPINNER, but no "the" in front of it. I like the first syllable getting the accent

    (Mine didn't post on her blog either)

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  5. I actually grew up learning how to spin wool into yarn on a spinning wheel. If you're looking for a bit of authenticity you might want to have a title like "Bobbin's End" or "Gossip Wheel". A gossip wheel is a kind of spinning wheel.

    Spindles were only used when the spinner was spinning linen, so they wouldn't have been used in the Rumplestiltskin story. Paul Zelinsky's version of the tale is the most authentic for this reason. Before bobbins, spinning wheels were also called "Walking Wheels", because a person would cover several miles walking back and forth to create the yarn.

    Just my nerdy two cents.

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  6. Call me old-fashioned, but I think there should be enough time and creative room allowed in the publication process so that Elizabeth can think up her own title. Who would want his/her novel published under a title produced by a stranger in a contest? Not moi. Elizabeth is working with her editor, as she knows she should, but I would think that throwing this problem out to the public, so to speak, must be a bit embarrassing for her.

    A better approach to this problem, I think, would be simply to pose a few questions to a group of people to elicit helpful info., such as fuse#8 has given. Then let the author's own creative juices run with it. She's written a novel you like; she can, and should, come up with the title that works best for her own creation.

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  7. I too am not sure if this went through at the other blog, and maybe it's too Lois Lowry anyway, but -

    SPINNING GOSSAMER

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  8. Not knowing any more about the story, I keep thinking something enigmatic like THE MAN WITH NO NAME or FIRST BORN is the way to go.
    Some other ideas:
    THE GOLDEN MEANIE
    NO BABIES FOR SHORTY
    THANKS A LOT, DAD.
    THE KING THE MILLER HIS DAUGHTER & HER BABY

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  9. Some more ideas:

    Bobbins and Buillions

    The Lady of the Haunted Mill

    Treadles and Treasures

    The 24 Karat Curse

    Curses and Karats

    coll

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  10. I *love* THANKS A LOT, DAD., and NO BABIES FOR SHORTY . . . not for this book, maybe, but they made me laugh hard.

    (I love your book, too, Adam! FRANKENSTEIN MAKES A SANDWICH, everyone: You'll eat it up!)

    Anonymous, you're seeing the end of a two-month discussion here -- Elizabeth *has* gone through a long process of thinking about the title by herself and talking it through with me, and the final decision is ultimately hers. (This was a contest only so much as someone was useful to her thinking.) But often other people's ideas can be good spurs to that creative thinking, and she and I appreciate everyone's input.

    Finally, a correction to my post, as gently pointed out by Emily Pike: Elizabeth's brother is Scott Coon, not Scott Bunce. Brooklyn Arden regrets the error.

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  11. Thanks for the plug, Cheryl!

    I just thought of VET SHORTY, too, though it's probably stretching too far for a joke, and it uses perhaps the least popular meaning of the word "vet", and it can't be any more appropriate than any of my other ideas. But I'm pretty much just making these up for myself now, anyway.

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  12. The book sounds amazing! Can't wait to read it...

    Here are my thoughts:

    NOTHING GOLD CAN STAY (from this Robert Frost poem: http://quotations.about.com/cs/poemlyrics/a/Nothing_GoldCan.htm)

    LIKE GOLD TO AIRY THINNESS (from John Donne's Valediction Forbiding Mourning)

    Something from Wm. Butler Yeats' poem, His Bargain (http://poetry.poetryx.com/poems/1507/)
    For example:
    WHAT SET IT WHIRLING
    BEFORE THE THREAD BEGAN
    WHEN THE LAST THREAD HAS RUN
    A BARGAIN WITH THE WINDINGS
    I MADE AND MAY NOT BREAK IT

    THE PRICE OF GOLD

    X-posted to Elizabeth's journal...

    Adding another-

    TURNING GOLD(EN)

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  13. Two more:

    TO REAP AND SEW
    GRIST AND GOLD

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  14. Here are some more ideas.

    Outwitted
    Outspun
    Within a Thread
    Looming Greed
    A Name to Know
    By Chance
    An Unthinkable Name
    To Be Cursed
    Guess Who?
    Toiler’s Curse
    A Thread Beyond
    Stirwater’s Wish
    Cursed Through the Mill
    The Last Straw

    ***A Whospundit Whodunit!***

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  15. OOOOOPS!! Here's one more.

    Born to be Taken

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  16. Dang! So there really is a Mother of All Hamsters....

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  17. Hello Kristy,
    I'm just curious. What do you mean by the mother off all hamsters?

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  18. See Cheryl's second end note on this post.

    (That educational tidbit sent me in a tizzy, I guess. :) )

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  19. The new title is now announced. What do you think of it?

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