I’m not much of a bandwagon jumper. Unless you’re talking eyebrows and I’ve definitely jumped on the eyebrow bandwagon. Did you know eyebrows are the must-have new fashion accessory? Physical features we have always had! Those are the new black!
This is not a beauty blog, I know.
This morning I was thinking about book titles and the Girl In The Title trend. I thought perhaps this was a bandwagon worth jumping on. There’s something catchy (and bestselling) about these books. There’s something universal and intriguing and beguiling.
I could surely dream up a Girl Title for my next book, due April 1 to my editor. Wouldn’t that be exciting?
So I made a list for new book and the way I could use Girl in the title. Currently, the working title for novel is Left To Chance (which I love and has multiple meanings, but let’s set good sense aside for a moment).
- The Chance Girl
- The Cemetery Girl
- Last Chance Girl
- New Chance Girl
- The Girls of Chance
Now I bet you’re wondering if this is a novel about gambling, grave-diggers, or prostitutes.
I’ll never tell. (Well, I will, just not quite yet.)
As I was typing out the titles in my Titles note on my phone (yes, this is a running list) hat’s all I could come up with for GIRL. In my list-making, let’s-nail-this-thing frenzy, I cringed.
I strongly dislike the word GIRL.
Nothing against the titles where it fits and works beautifully, of course. Maybe if it made sense in some way, I could put my feelings aside. Publishers have the final say on titles anyway, so I could be eating my words at some point in my career. Nom Nom Nom. They will be delicious.
But, in general, in real life, when the word GIRL is referring to an adult woman, I grimace. I cringe. I contemplate some finger wagging. And I’ve felt this way for longer than Girl In The Title has been a trend. I know plenty of people who fling that word around. I know the term is often meant affectionately, casually, offhandedly, and with no malice. I know the term “mean girl” often refers to a bully no matter the age. But in general, the word just plain bugs me.
“Oh, she’s a nice girl.”
“She’s a pretty girl.”
“She’s a smart girl.”
“She’s a brave girl.”
“She’s a funny girl.”
What they really mean is WOMAN. Young woman perhaps, but not a girl. GIRLS are twelve. I wouldn’t even refer to my twenty-year-old daughter as a girl.
The main character in my next novel, Teddi Lerner, is FORTY-TWO. Teddi Lerner is not a girl.
Scratch Girl Title Goal.
Am I jealous? Am I a bitch? Am I just looking for something to complain about on a Monday morning?
No, sometimes, not at the moment.
I gauged my green meter and this isn’t Envy writing this blog post today. I’m not saying my books would have topped the charts with Girl titles or that books are popular because of Girl titles. There’s an article floating around on the internet somewhere as to why Girl titles work. I don’t doubt it.
It’s okay that the title trend is beyond the reach of my new novel and inconsistent with my own sensibilities. Trend chasers take heed! There are other title trends I do like. I like the long, wordy title trend. I like the one-word title trend. I also like the trend my own novels have set (intentionally). The Glass Wives. The Good Neighbor. The ________ ___________ for novel three?
Even if Left To Chance is a perfectly appropriate and good title that fits the book and has hidden meaning, I’m sure I’ll chase each of these title trends (and those yet to be recognized) around the block a few times before deciding.
Because I’m a crazy woman.
Have a title for my new novel? Have a Girl Title you love? Do you trend chase at all? How are YOUR eyebrows today?