July 08, 2017

Girls in the Dark

Previously I've grumbled about the overuse of "Girl" in titles, yet it's a juggernaut that never stops and they keep getting rolled out by publishers week after week. In fact, I'm currently reading one for a future online review plus I have two more in my general reading pile but only because their plot-lines captured my interest enough to overlook their girly titles.

Sigh. I accept defeat.

It's also getting "Dark" out there with two out of nine new titles in the latest crime newsletter from Allen & Unwin being The Dark Lake and The Dark Side. Is this the next trend?

"Dark" often features in titles of fantasy, ghost and horror stories, and I imagine just like "Girl" can be a nightmare (no puns intended) for bookshop owners and librarians: Can't remember the exact name, but it's got 'Dark' in the title" ... so I got to thinking whether novels might work with more imaginative alternative words for "Dark" and I looked up the word on thesaurus.com. (Thesaurus.com is a great way to waste time but also learn a thing or two.) 

Apart from basic Black, there are quite a few options. Would you be tempted by books called The Atramentous Road, The Obfuscous Garden, The Crepuscular Sea or The Tenebrous Way ? Probably not.

And, yup, there are a few novels called Girl in the Dark. (Obviously, you would have to be careful calling your novel The Dark Girl due to possible racist connotations.)

Perhaps you could try The Girl from the Dark. Or The Aphotic Girl, The Cimmerian Girl or The Stygian Girl (probably the best of the bunch)

I also looked up other words for "Girl". All tame or clunky. "Gyrle" might work in fantasy or medieval historical fiction. "Virgin" has all sorts of issues best left alone.

How about The Young Lady on the Train or Gone Lassie ? The latter might appeal to dog owners. But The Damsel on the Locomotive might get somebody excited.

From Akihabara
Love the cadence in this. Maybe we need more titles in Turkish?

The original and the best!

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