What’s in a title?

I suppose not in a title, but behind it that I mean. What does the title say to the reader? I know what it tells me as the writer and the creator of that title that houses the innards of a literary jaunt into fantasy (not Fantasy, I enjoy watching it and occasionally reading it but do not write it) I called Two Struck Images.

First, some background.

I had the treat one fall weekend in 1999 to host my younger brother at the 135th reenactment of the Civil War battle of Chickamauga. I had enough uniform parts and an extra rifle to fully outfit him (save for the shoes, I to this day still apologize for having to wear my old, worn out brogans that need re-soled). I was always the history buff and he went along for reasons of his own. I’d been away to college and then permanently settled in Albuquerque, New Mexico afterwards and married while he was in Atlanta, Georgia. I think he was glad for some company.

With my reenacting battalion, the Army of the Pacific, we portrayed Heg’s 15th Wisconsin as our guiding impression and for the first day’s scripted battle. The 15th Wisconsin was part of the bloody action that took place on the Viniard Farm and suffered heavily on that first day’s combat. At the event was a period photographer and he and I sat for two images to be struck. Two different poses, two different images and we each kept our favorite to take home. Some time later I was looking at my own image and penned this short story of two brothers and the images they possessed. I titled it Two Struck Images for the story told of the battle and the tie one boy finds with that past when found he finds one of the images 150 years later.

Today I have commissioned someone to edit the story and someone else to do the cover image and for the first time I was confronted with the difficulty of my title. I conceived of it and titled it and to me it ties things together. From here on out, however, I need to step away from it as the writer and approach it as a reader who knows nothing of what I know about the two images and the role they play in the story. Hard to do. I only get one shot to appeal to someone, I want to toe that line between engaging mystery and confusion.

Two Struck Images, original title but brightened

Image in Time title, brightened

Please leave other thoughts in the comments section. If you have other title suggestions leave those too. Short story to be released on Kindle in May.

4 thoughts on “What’s in a title?”

  1. For me, it hinges on your blurb. Two Struck Images (and the cover) makes me want to click to read what the book is about. Now if you blurb is exciting, and explain how images play into the story it would easily turn into a buy for me or a sample download.

    An Image in Time… I don’t like the sideways writing (difficult to read) and it makes me instantly think YA time travel. The title doesn’t come across as mature to me. Not in wording and not in the depiction on the cover.

    1. Good input! The newer cover (which I should update on the page) drops the “an” and straightens out the lettering. I’m torn myself but did know I have one more tool to catch the readers attention in the blurb. I like Two Struck Images myself (so does my wife) and/or Two Images Struck from the other comment.

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