I have finished the second draft of my YA science fiction novel, which is under contract to Viking. That is, I've almost finished it. The thing has no title. 98,000 words of prose I can come up with but a title -- no.
I am terrible at titles. Really, really bad. Nearly all of mine have been supplied by other people. Bruce McAllister once gave me a title, swearing that "it will fit any story ever written." I was skeptical about that -- such a sweeping statement! So much hubris! But he was right. The title was "In A World Like This" and Ellen Datlow ran the story in OMNI.
But Bruce is not here now. Jack is busy with his own book. Viking is going to want to call this book something other than what is on the first page now ("Title," in twenty-point Times Roman -- if it's big enough, it doesn't have to be original?) I still have a clean-up draft to do. Maybe by the time that's finished, I will have thought of something.
Why are some other writers so good at titles? How do they do it?