Friday, August 15, 2014

What’s in a Title?

Picture Perfect seemed like a good working title for my mystery. I liked the play on picture, as in artwork, and on perfect, as it related to Erik Jansson—he wanted so much to be perfect. (Don’t we all.) It would be good enough for the short term.

I knew going in that it couldn’t last, a quick Google search confirmed that it’s been used quite a few times.

Unfortunately, good enough had to do for some time because nothing else came to me.

While working on some thoughts about who was on the inside and who was on the outside, as in society and the art world, I made a mistake in typing. My typo: Outsider morphed into Oursider.

I almost corrected this transposition of letters automatically without thinking, but I stopped and took a few moments to take in the significance. Oursider as a term sure seemed to fit the tone for one of my characters. He had his own lifestyle, his own way of creating art. He had a way with words and could certainly use the label: Oursider Art. I decided I had to keep the typo and work with it.

After a little experimentation, I thought it best to divide the word and the book title became Our Side of Perfect. That’s what I’ve been using in my query letters and it will have to do—unless something better comes along.

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