So, what’s in a name? I’d initially named my novel The Cuckoo’s Cry because my protagonist, Harvey Dunne, felt like he was going crazy, never fitting in. But when it came time to publish, I decided that the name sounded funny when it rolled off the tongue, kind of lame when I said it out loud. When your own novel’s name makes you wince, that’s a good indication that you need a new name.
My Beta reader-critique partner-friend and I started brainstorming. My book was about a kid named Harvey Dunne who grew up in a small Texas town, then married and had kids. And after trying to live his life according to expectations, he finally admitted to himself (and everyone else) that he was gay.
So, here were the contenders:
- The Incredible Quest for Harvey Dunne
- In Pursuit of Harvey Dunne
- The Uncanny Quest for Harvey Dunne
- In Search of Harvey Dunne
- The Hunt for Harvey Dunne
- The Amazing Evolution of Harvey Dunne
- The Most Curious Quest for Harvey Dunne
- The Uncompromising Quest for Harvey Dunne
- The Most Remarkable Quest for Harvey Dunne
- Will the Real Harvey Dunne Please Stand Up?
- Who is Harvey Dunne?
- The Transformation of Harvey Dunne
And the winner was (drumroll):
Believe it or not – none of the above. My friend came up with a wonderful play on words, and the minute she suggested it, I knew it was THE ONE.
Is Harvey Dunne?
Here is what I learned:
- Names do matter.
- If possible, choose one that you love (you’ll be saying, writing, hearing, dreaming about it a lot.)
- DO. NOT. QUIT.
More to come….