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  • Derya Dinç

Why Is Naming Your Work So Difficult?

Most authors and aspiring writers struggle to find names for their books, stories, or the worlds, countries, characters, and other elements they create. This isn’t just an issue unique to you. Even the most famous writers face the same challenge. Here are some naming disasters from history to inspire you!


Agatha Christie – And Then There Were None

One of Agatha Christie's most famous books, which has been translated into dozens of languages, originally had a title containing a racist word. It was first published under the name "Ten Little N*****s." Today, it carries the title "And Then There Were None."


William Golding – Lord of the Flies

Another classic! Golding originally wanted to name this book "Strangers Within."

Adolf Hitler – Mein Kampf

Hitler's book "Mein Kampf" was originally titled "Four and a Half Years of Struggle Against Lies, Stupidity, and Cowardice." Here’s another reason to despise Hitler!



Leo Tolstoy – War and Peace

This indispensable work of every publisher of classics today was almost titled "All's Well That Ends Well." Apparently, Tolstoy wasn’t great at naming either.

Jane Austen – Pride and Prejudice

This famous book has not only been translated into many languages since its publication but has also inspired films and TV series. But did you know its original title was "First Impressions"?



John Steinbeck – Of Mice and Men

Nobel Prize-winning Steinbeck’s 1937 book was initially titled "Something That Happened." After much effort from Steinbeck's editor, the book received its famous title.

Vladimir Nabokov – Lolita

Both the book and the film received much criticism but also broke new ground. The famous author’s first thought for the title was "Kingdom by the Sea." It definitely doesn’t have the same ring.


George Orwell – Animal Farm and 1984

The central theme of the now-classic "Animal Farm" remains relevant today. But Orwell almost named this book "A Contemporary Satire." For his famous work "1984," the initial title he considered was "The Last Man in Europe." Whether these works would have become so famous with their original titles is unknown, but it's clear they are well-loved with the titles we know today.



Bram Stoker – Dracula

The book is a classic. The films are classics. "Dracula," the beginning of the vampire trend that still holds strong popularity today, was almost titled "The Dead Un-Dead."



All these classics and many more found their right names after much effort. Don’t give up searching for the right names for your work or characters. It may be a long and challenging journey, but it can determine the difference between your work becoming a popular classic or fading into obscurity.

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