By Devon Rowe | November 20, 2015
Shutter Island. Of Mice and Men. To Kill a Mockingbird. Ender’s Game. None of these novels or their respective titles helped influence me in the slightest when it came to coming up with a name for my own book.
Of course, this an issue all serious novelists face and there are many articles and supposed ways to overcome the anxiety of creating a compelling title for a book. It was my original belief that the title should come first, even before the actual idea for the story.
This approach led to me writing down a bunch of title ideas that had nothing to do with the source matter, and I went to bed early feeling that maybe I wouldn’t be so stupid the following day. This didn’t prove to be true. The day after I chose another route for my creativity that, in all actuality, wasn’t that creative. I asked some of my close friends and family members for their ideas on what I should name my book. Do you know what someone told me? “Call it The Adventures of Electric-Man.”
Seriously. Someone actually said that. Now my book is already one that is a little unconventional, but I had to sit and think: “Would that convey the atmosphere, tone, and theme that my book actually conveyed? Hell no, it wouldn’t.
I grew up reading some of the more popular young-adult novels of the day, right on the cusp of the explosion of young-adult movie adaptions. It gave me and millions of others something to look forward to every year or so as far as movies goes. I wanted my book to follow in their footsteps (hoping, obviously, that movie adaptions of my story would follow). I want to capture that feeling for another generation of readers, just as Hunger Games has recently done; I want the tradition to continue.
So I left Electric-Man alone and came to realize that it would be best if I wrote my story first, and then decided afterwards on a title that best encompassed my book, hence The Abnormals was born. It was the only title-naming option that made sense. It’s the same tactic I used when naming the songs that I write, and I’d advise it to anyone who is having trouble finding a title for their works of art.