Dianne Salerni author Dianne Salerni author Dianne Salerni books Dianne Salerni blog Dianne Salerni Appearances Dianne Salerni contact Dianne Salerni teachers
Dianne Salerni : Writer of Teen and Middle Grade Fiction | Eight Terrible Titles

Eight Terrible Titles


Tesseract – a 4-dimensional version of a cube. Image by Robert Webb’s Stella Software: http://www.software3d.com/Stella.php.

Last month I was tagged by Marcy Hatch to play this game which has been bouncing around the blogosphere. The idea is to pick spots in your WIP (with your eyes closed) and from the randomly selected sentences find a new (terrible) title for your manuscript.

I chose my most recently completed new work, BRANEWORLD, which is a science fiction adventure in multiple dimensions. And here are my terrible titles!


1. Why did they get singled out for multiple course corrections, all of which seemed harmful to them?


2. Amber Alerts were for kidnappings, weren’t they?


3. “You should have checked the batteries,” Jadie told him.


4. Rubbery lips swung down so close to Jadie that she could feel and smell hot, rancid breath.


5. There was something bizarre about the way this place wanted to pull him to the nearest level surface.


6. To three-dimensional eyes, she appeared to be floating weightlessly in the cloud of lights, but Ty picked out the spiral pattern wound around her limp arms and legs and figured she was suspended by super-thin tentacles.


7. “You dummy,” Jadie said. “You reversed yourself.”


8. However, to 4-space beings, the odor trail from Ty Rivers would supposedly resemble glowing bread crumbs.



What do you think? YOU SHOULD HAVE CHECKED THE BATTERIES would make a good title. Not for my book, but for somebody’s. And actually, THREE-DIMENSIONAL EYES and REVERSED are not half-bad!  I’m not going to tag anyone, but feel free to play the game and said I told you to!



20 Responses to Eight Terrible Titles

  1. I agree that those aren’t bad titles. Maybe it’s a good exercise for someone stuck on their title.

  2. Those two aren’t bad titles. Maybe this is a good exercise for someone stuck on their title.

  3. The fourth one is great! Although the third would work well for a humorous book.

  4. I’m cheering #4 on! I could seriously see my son reading something like that.

  5. Tiana Smith says:

    RUBBERY LIPS AND RANCID BREATH <– That's your winner right there 😉 LOL.

  6. ChemistKen says:

    I have enough trouble coming up with one title, let alone eight. I think I’d be bad at this challenge.

  7. What a clever way to come up with titles. I can totally see YOU SHOULD HAVE CHECKED THE BATTERIES as a MG novel. 🙂

  8. I love these, they’re so funny! And I like how you included the snippets they came from- which totally makes me want to read this(as if I didn’t already…). I like 4 & 8 the best. =)


  10. I actually want to read books with these titles. Lol

  11. J E Oneil says:

    What a weird/funny game. And I don’t know, Rubbery Lips and Rancid Breath has it’s good points :P.

  12. Joshua David Bellin says:

    This cracks me up! Thanks for the laugh–I needed one this morning as the first week of the new semester crawls to a close.

  13. Julie Dao says:

    RUBBERY LIPS AND RANCID BREATH could be a great title for a romantic comedy!

    • DianneSalerni says:

      OMG, it totally would! For instance in a book about a MC on a series of blind dates. Feel free to take it, anyone who feels inspired!

  14. Miranda Hardy says:

    Not bad titles at all, some are very interesting. Good luck with your WIP. Sounds like a neat project.

  15. Lexa Cain says:

    OMG! #4 is hilarious and #8 is great, too. Such a fun game! Thanks for your “terrible titles.” 🙂

  16. Oh, I like this and I’m going to have to play it when I actually have a book-in-progress. ^_^ And I agree, “You Should Have Checked The Batteries” would make an excellent title for something.

  17. The two that have “smell” – could be good/bad titles.

  18. I think Amber Alert has a lot of built in tension and assumptions. I like that one.

  19. Cynthia says:

    RUBBERY LIPS AND RANCID BREATH and THE ODOR TRAIL sound very Middle Grade, and not as “terrible” as you might think.