Tom Palmer's writing blog - How I write: how you write, Part Seven
Posted by Tom Palmer
5 Jul 2011
Titles are really important for books.
I have made my final decision about what to call the book I have been writing. As you know the series is going to be called The Squad. But each book needs an individual title.
The basic storyline is that there is an England youth football team that plays in tournaments around the world. Five of the players are not just footballers: they are spies. The spies spy on behalf of the UK, keeping a secret from the rest of their friends.
There are two other factors about the book.
- One, the children who are spies are the team’s defenders.
- Two, the spying missions they go on are secret even from the UK government.
At first I was going to call the book DEFENDERS. It made sense: it is about defending in football and defending the nation.
What do you think of that title? Do you think it’s exciting? Footbally? Boring?
Then I had another idea. The children go on secret missions, also known as Black Ops, like the video game. What if I called the book BLACK OP?
What do you think of that?
I decided to go with THE SQUAD: BLACK OP. I made the decision in a school in Nottingham. I was talking to around 200 year sevens and I asked them to vote: DEFENDERS or BLACK OP? Six voted for DEFENDERS. 197 for BLACK OP.
For me, also, BLACK OP sounds more exciting. When I do talks about my Foul Play series, the books that appeal to readers most are Dead Ball and Killer Pass, not Own Goal or Off Side. I think that is a lot to do with the titles.
Do you agree?
Schools Network members can also download a classroom activity related to this blog entry. View.
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Blogs by the same author
- Five things adults can do to get kids reading for pleasure during the World Cup in Blog by Tom Palmer
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- Tom Palmer Euro 2012 blog, part three: Literacy begins at home in Blog by Tom Palmer
- Tom Palmer Euro 2012 blog, part two: Confessions of a school-visiting author in Blog by Tom Palmer
- Tom Palmer Euro 2012 blog, part one: Reading Euro 2012 in Blog by Tom Palmer