Charlie Holiday book title workshop
Charlie Holiday is maturing into his own. He needs a new title.
Book titles, that is.
As of this moment, there are three books in the series currently titled: Florence, Utrecht, and Chiang Mai. I knew the titles were placeholders, but I didn’t know how to replace them. Part of this is the Just Get it Published and Figure It Out Later strategy that I enjoy. Well, now it’s later.
There are 3 books in the series, but I see it going to at least 7 if not into the double digits. I really like the short format (novelette, short story, etc.) and the accompanying 1-hour-or-so audiobook.
The Foundation, Source, Anchor Word
I worked on this the other day with a fellow writer and we came up with:
- Expect the Unexpected
- Spot the Unexpected
- Choose the Unexpected
It’s a good direction and could work. It’s just “unexpected” seems so clunky to me.
Let’s see if we can improve on it. Here’s a stab at that main word:
That exercise, which took me all of 10 minutes with a thesaurus, brought Chance up to #2. As much as I like like the wonder and magic of the word “unexpected,” it’s clunky, three syllables, and has a negative prefix (un-) in there.
Here are a few definitions for “chance” (noun):
- the absence of any cause of events that can be predicted, understood, or controlled: often personified or treated as a positive agency:
Chance governs all.
- luck or fortune:
a game of chance.
- a possibility or probability of anything happening:
a fifty-percent chance of success.
- an opportune or favorable time; opportunity:
Now is your chance.
- Baseball. an opportunity to field the ball and make a put-out or assist.
- a risk or hazard:
Take a chance.
- a share or ticket in a lottery or prize drawing:
The charity is selling chances for a dollar each.
- chances, probability:
The chances are that the train hasn’t left yet.
- Archaic. an unfortunate event; mishap.
OK, well, that’s settled.
I realize you’re reading along here with no paused, but I just found the title of my next several books!
Thanks for playing along.
See how that worked.
- I opened it up for discussion, critique, feedback, etc.
- I worked through it, thought about it, mulled over it–and it didn’t need to take long.
- It came to me as I was focused on something else (namely, unexpected).
I think we’re done here. Maybe I’m not, but it’s an excellent start and it just feels right. I could be certain, or I could leave it up to … chance.
Now that I have the core, the foundation, the anchor term, I need to link the books together in a series that flows, grows, and shows. (Ooh, just made that up and I’m liking it.)
I want it to increase, to ascend, to climb, to grow. Charlie is at first lost, incredulous, not even really looking. He’s clueless. But he has a spark, a something that tells him there’s more. He doesn’t know what or how or when or what, he just knows, he hopes there’s something. Let’s play around with that.
- Open (to the idea)
- Learn (from it, study, “try”)
- See (recognize, accept)
- Seek (now that you “maybe believe” it, look for it)
- Find (can you find it when you want it?)
- Choose (actively choose it)
- Conquer (too strong, but you’re now (somewhat) in control of it)
- Master (you’re good at it)
- Play (now things get fun)
Play on Words
I’m now over at a site that finds idioms for words. Whoa, this is way too much fun for a Sunday morning. ;-O Here comes a collection:
- a chance in a million
- a fighting chance
- a one in a million chance
- a snowball’s chance in hell
- a sporting chance
- an eye for the main chance
- an eye on/for/to the main chance
- as chance/luck would have it
- as much chance as a wax cat in hell
- at the last chance saloon
- be in with a chance
- blow (one’s) chance
- Buckley’s chance
- by any chance
- by chance
- chance (one’s) arm
- chance it
- chance of a lifetime
- chance on
- chance on (someone or something)
- chance upon
- chance upon (someone or something)
- chance would be a fine thing
- chance your arm
- chances are
- Chinaman’s chance
- dog’s chance
- eye to the main chance, have an
- fancy (one’s) chances
- fancy chances
- fancy your chances
- fancy your/somebody’s chances
- fat chance
- fifty-fifty chance
- fighting chance
- ghost of a chance
- give (one) half a chance
- give (someone) a second chance
- give (someone) another chance
- Give me a chance!
- give somebody half a chance
- given half a/the chance
- half a chance
- have a dog’s chance
- have a fighting chance
- have an even chance
- have an even chance of (doing something)
- have an eye for the main chance
- have an eye on/for/to the main chance
- have an eye to/for the main chance
- have Buckley’s (chance)
- have no chance in hell
- in the last chance saloon
- in with a chance
- jump at
- jump at the chance (to do something)
- last call
- last chance (for/at/to do something)
- leap at the chance (to do something)
- leap at the opportunity
- leave to chance
- let the chance slip by
- never give a sucker an even chance
- no chance
- not a cat in hell’s chance
- not a chance
- Not a chance!
- not a Chinaman’s chance
- not a dog’s chance
- not have a (snowball’s) chance in hell
- not have a cat in hell’s chance
- not have a chance in hell (of doing something)
- not have a ghost of a chance
- not have a snowball’s chance in hell
- not have a snowball’s chance in hell and not a hope in hell
- not have a/the ghost of a chance
- not have an earthly chance
- not have the ghost of a chance
- not stand an earthly (chance)
- of a lifetime
- off chance
- on the (off) chance
- on the chance
- on the chance that
- on the off chance
- on the off-chance
- on the outside chance
- once-in-a-lifetime chance
- one chance in a million
- outside chance
- risk of rain
- slim chance
- snowball’s chance in hell
- snowball’s chance in hell, a
- sporting chance
- sporting chance, a
- stand a chance
- take (one’s) chances
- take a chance
- take a chance on
- take chances
- take one’s chances
- take the chance (to do something)
- take your chances
- the chance, etc. of a lifetime
- the last chance saloon
- Tinker to Evers to Chance
- You pays your money and you takes your chance
OK, fine, so I copied them all. There are some winners in here. Let’s scoop up a few.
There are many that lean negative, that take the side of the chance is small. That’s OK. The chance is small. The chance of rain tomorrow is truly 50/50: it’s either going to rain or it’s not. Sure, you can tell me it 20% or 80% but it’s still truly 50/50: it will or it won’t.
Ooh, this is getting fun and just way too much fun for the math guy that I am. I see dozens of book titles with chance in there. Let’s see if I can make a quick roll call of 7, ideally increasing in (statistical!) probability:
- Now is Your Chance
- A Second Chance
- Chance of a Lifetime
- As Chance Would Have It
- Leave it to Chance
- A Ghost of a Chance
- Jump at the Chance
- A Snowball’s Chance in Heaven
- Have Your Chance and Eat It Too
Now I need to let those subtitles come in.