Writing Words With the Tips of My Toes
When Stars Die actually went through four title changes. The first time it was Croix Infernal because I had an evil cross in the book and my characters were French, but neither of those things exists anymore, so the title had to be scrapped. The second title was Lady Tourniquet because the sequel was Witch Tourniquet. Lady Tourniquet could still make sense, but the theme in When Stars Die isn’t about suffering or bleeding for anyone or being a sacrifice like it is in the sequel. So while the title was nice it, too, had to be axed. Then I came up with When Silence Screams because MC Amelia feels trapped in her mind most of the time since she has to bear a burdensome secret no one else can know, but that didn’t fit the main theme of the book well, so I knew I wanted to change the title.
I just couldn’t think of what to change it to.
So I just flipped through my book and stumbled across the most meaningful passage that neatly wrapped up the entire theme of the book. Amelia is talking about stars and how when they die they leave a lasting impact. The stars we see today might not even exist today or only appear as they were centuries ago. So Amelia contemplates this, wondering if witches will leave behind such an impact, or if they wither away, leaving nothing behind.
This made me realize the main theme of my book involved what one leaves behind after one dies because Amelia tries so hard to find some meaningful way to live her life while also appealing to her god Deus. She wants to leave something behind
but is terrified that she can’t. However, she is determined. Thus, I came up with the title When Stars Die.
So when I choose my book titles, I choose them based off the main theme, which can be difficult to find in the first draft. However, Stolentime, my newest book, will likely stay because the little town called Stolentime is where everything happens for Gene, where he changes and grows. Stolentime is separate from his world, so it allows Gene to develop a new perspective on life, a perspective he can’t receive being at home since he is coddled due to his illness.