Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The "Help! Bob Needs a Title" Blog Contest

Hooray! It’s the day we’ve all been waiting for! (Okay, maybe I'm the only one who's been waiting for it...) The “Help! Bob Needs a Title” Blog Contest is here!

As many of you know, I’ve been calling my work-in-progress Bob for almost a year now, and while it’s an affectionate nickname, it’s not a very useful title. I’m thinking you can come up with a better one.

To enter, simply read Bob’s query and first page below, then leave your suggested titles in the comments section of this post. You’re welcome to include feedback in your comment, but make sure you clearly identify your entries so my trusty sidekick (read: Honey Bear, my husband) doesn’t miss them.

I plan to judge the entries blindly, meaning I won’t know who submitted what. My trusty sidekick will transfer all the entries into a separate document, no names attached, and I’ll make my picks from there.

The Rules

1. Anyone may enter.

2. Everyone who enters may submit up to seven entries. (You don’t even have to do anything to get those extra entries--I just don’t want you to have to choose between several equally good titles.)

3. In the unlikely event that the same title is entered more than once, every entry but the first will be disqualified (although the disqualified entrants may submit other entries).

The Prizes Four lovely agents have agreed to offer query and/or first-page critiques to the winners:

Amy Boggs: Query plus first-page critique
Sarah LaPolla: First-page critique
Andrea Somberg: Query plus first-page critique
Marissa Walsh: Query critique

I plan to name three winners, so the first-place winner will get to pick two of these prizes, the second-place winner will get to pick one of the remaining prizes, and the third-place winner will receive the remaining prize.

And here’s the kicker: If I like the first-place winner’s title enough to actually use it AND this manuscript lands an agent, the first-place winner will also win a fifty-dollar Amazon gift card. In addition, if said agent likes the title enough AND the manuscript lands a book deal, the first-place winner will also win a Kindle (or another comparable e-reader of his or her choice).

The Query The 2046 International Biomedia Conference is the most celebrated event for high school students on the planet. But when Seth receives an invitation to attend, the last thing he wants to do is celebrate.

Seth hates biomedia, especially his Wingtooth, the tooth-shaped implant that links his brainwaves to the Stream. The too-smooth voices give him headaches, and he’s never found much use for a Camera that takes pictures with his eyes or a Music Player that blasts its sounds straight into his brain. His parents, though, are less concerned about his health than they are about his chance to meet Marvin Hermes, the industry’s reclusive founder. He has to go--and use his Wingtooth, which he hardly ever does.

Not ten minutes off the shuttle, Seth introduces himself to the most beautiful girl he’s ever seen by accidentally dumping his breakfast on her. Worse, the girl is Toothless, part of the recession-ravaged class unable to afford Wingteeth, and probably took the dumping as an insult. Little does Seth know that wearing his breakfast on her sleeve is the least of Adair’s concerns.

Ever since her mother died in an overcrowded Wingtooth factory, Adair and her father have been masterminding a Toothless takeover. Their plan is simple: Shut down the Stream, assassinate Marvin Hermes, and make the whole thing look like an accident. Then install one of the Toothless as chairman of the board. But their plan collapses when Adair doesn’t go through with the assassination--and when shutting down the Stream leaves the city’s Wingtoothers unable to think or even eat for themselves.

Now Seth and Adair are the Wingtoothers’ last hope. Seth will do anything to save his parents, but Adair isn’t so eager. Can she really abandon the cause she’s worked so hard for? But is she willing to let the Wingtoothers just die?

The First Page The principal’s office was bad, but the principal’s office waiting room was much worse. Seth shifted in his toothpaste-colored seat and tried to concentrate on his homework (Problem number eight. Find the limit as x approaches e of the natural log of x, b-Reader droned inside his head), but his own thoughts were so loud he could barely hear the words.

What could Ms. Mahoney possibly want with him?

The secretary looked up, almost like she’d read his mind. “Sorry for the wait.” She flashed him a phantom grin. “But I think you’ll find it worth your while.”

Problem number eight. Find the limit as x approaches--

Seth pushed the words aside, out of thought. “What do you mean?”

She cupped one hand around the corner of her mouth. “Don’t tell her I said anything, but … congratulations.”

Problem number--


“Not so loud!” The secretary leaned over her laptop, bleached blond curls bouncing stiffly, like she was going to say more. But then something on the screen caught her attention, and she forgot all about him.

Problem number eight. Find the limit as--

Seth closed the calc book with a thought and exited b-Reader with another. But that only made way for a new flood of sounds and pictures, which burrowed into his brain with almost no thought at all. In the quiet of the waiting room, without his homework to distract him, Stream Surfer’s smooth-talking voices were impossible to ignore.

Phew. I think that’s everything. The contest closes on Monday, August 23, at 11:59 p.m. PDT. The winners will be announced no later than Friday, August 27. Good luck, and happy titling!


Holly said...

Good morning! I especially like the query...

The Feed

Stream Surfer

The Stream



Seth's Choice

Stephanie McGee said...

Okay, all that's coming to me are crazy titles. I'll think about serious ones over the day, but here are the funny ones.

Tooth and Prejudice

Wingtooth (hey that's a serious one!)

Crime and Wingtooth

Toothless Rising (hey, maybe another serious one)

That's all I've got. Sorry I'm not much help.

Christauna Asay said...

Bicuspid Revolution

The Wingtooth War

Biomedia Subversive




Teehee. I know, kinda out there. I agree with above poster though that Wingtooth sounds like an awesome title. It's an interesting and original term and appears to be central to the book. That's it for me. Good luck to Bob. I hope he finds a new name.

Anonymous said...

Ooh, I really like your query. Currently, I just have one title that speaks out to me, but I'll come back and enter more later.



cheekychook said...

It's hard to name a book based on a query and a page (even though it's a good query and an interesting page), but here's what came to mind...

Tooth or Consequences

Bite Back

On A Wingtooth and a Prayer

Against the Stream

Stream of Thought

Streamless Minds

Kris said...

Rats-I've been thinking TOOTH OR CONSEQUENCES since last week when I read your mini-synopsis. I see that someone already posted that! Good job!

I also like WINGTOOTH. Just has a cool ring to it. You've got some great terms in the query--really like the sound of it.

Some other ideas -- (the tooth puns are endless):

I'll come back if I think of anything else. I love the idea of Biomedia--just creepy and cool!

Diana said...

I'm horrible at this with my own work, but hopefully something here will get your creative juices flowing:

The Assassination of Marvin Hermes
Life in the Stream
The Takeover
The Stream Assassination
Streamless Assassins
The BioMedia Coup

Holly said...

Not an entry, but I LOVE The Wingtooth War.

Cambria Dillon said...

This premise sounds so cool! Kind of like a teen version of Stepford Wives in the future!

Ok. Titles are not my forte, but here it goes:

Mind Extraction
Mind Hijack
Return to Normal

lodjohnson said...

Here's what I got . . .

Stream of Consciousness


Information Overload

Esther Vanderlaan said...

Love this so much! I liked the query a lot, and the first page was pretty cool. OK, here are some of my titles:

The Last of the Wingtoothers

Adair's Last Stand

The Wingtooth World

One question, why did you call this manuscript Bob? :)

Esther Vanderlaan said...

Uh, I meant The Wingtooth War

Joseph Adams said...

My turn:
-Tooth for a Tooth
-The Stream Breakers
-Tooth and Stream
-Wingtoother's Last Hope
-Tooth and Lies
-Seth Wingtoother and the Stream Breakers

Anonymous said...

Lemme see...


Under Orders

A Failed Revolt

The Toothless Revolt

... yep.

Matthew Rush said...

I'm really terrible with titles, but I just want to say that this story sounds awesome!

Justine Dell said...

This sounds cool! Here's my go at the titles:








Okay, this was fun! Good luck finding a title ;-)


Jared Larson said...

Wingtooth and Toothless

(It's basically saying, Seth and Adair. Good title.)

Or, I think you may have had it in the query.

The Wingtoother's Last Hope

or perhaps:

A Toothless Plan

The Toothless Revenge

Saving Wingtoothers'

LOL! Good luck! It looks like you have some good ones above. Great query.

Anonymous said...

Ooh, this is fun.

Here are my few suggestions:

Washed (like brainwashed)

Washed Away

Mind Wash

Eye Teeth

Out of Mind

Live Stream

Jemi Fraser said...

There are some really great ideas above - love them.

How about...

Surfing the Stream


Shutting Down the Stream


Marilyn Peake said...

Your novel sounds fascinating. Such a fun contest! And such wonderful prizes! Here are my entries:

Wingtoother and the Reluctant Assassin

Wingtoother and Toothless: A Futuristic Love Story

Stream Surfing and Assassination

Biomedia Brain Control

In and Out of the Stream

Voices in Our Teeth, Snapshots in Our Eyes

Wingtoothers: We Are the Media

Myrna Foster said...

The Last Wingtoother


Mind Extraction

The Mind of Marvin Hermes

Big Bad Granny

My favorites are The Wingtooth War, Tooth and Consequences, and Toothless. :o)

If I think of a better title, I'll be back.

Esther Vanderlaan said...

Goody! I thought of two more:



Two more to go!

Kelly Bryson said...

Ugggh. I am awful with titles.

How about Bob, backwards? boB?

Maybe not.

BioMedia Surge
Tune out, Wingtooth

That's all I've got.

Jay said...

Here are my titles, with the inspiration in parenthesis where appropriate.

Red In Tooth, Red In Claw

The Dentrifice Coup

Extraction From Mortality
(ripped off from a band's album title)

The Standalone Collective
(Ghost in the Shell)

Our New Empire

The Savage Ones

The Malthusian Rebellion
(Thomas Malthus/Brave New World-ish)

Ms. Leira Carola said...

Against the Stream

Honeybear said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Honey Bear said...

Sorry everyone, that deleted comment was me deleting my own post. I guess that's what Krista gets for being married to a smart alec who doesn't proofread before posting...

What I meant to suggest were these titles:

You Can't Handle the Tooth!

Streamless in Seattle

(I know it doesn't take place in Seattle...sheesh)

Carol Riggs said...

Not an entry (tho I'm thinkin'!) but a comment:

Feed has already been taken, by MT Anderson. In fact, if you haven't read the novel already, check it out because it's kinda similar to your novel's premise/storyline. You will have to know this title for marketing/agent hunting purposes anyway.

FantasticFiction said...

Hey! Interesting stuff! I like! It was fun to come u with titles for awesome bob!

Wingtooth Propaganda

War of the fallen

Stream Liberation

Adair’s rebellion

Hope of the Lost

Wingtooth Blood bath

Assassination at gun point

Sarah N Fisk said...


The Toothless Uprising


Fall of the Wingtooth


Carol Riggs said...

[Anything with Wingtooth is probably the best, because it's a GREAT, unique word!]

Wingtooth Conspiracy
The Wingtooth Conspiracy
The Wingtooth Stream
Not All It Streams
Not As It Streams
The Silent Stream [a take-off on Edvard Munch's Silent Scream painting]
Deadly Stream
Stream Conspiracy
The Biomedia Conspiracy
Bob and His Wingtooth [kidding!]
Biomedia Bob [kidding again!]

Carol Riggs said...

Okay, not an entry, but I just have to say that in your query, this is a GREAT line:

Little does Seth know that wearing his breakfast on her sleeve is the least of Adair’s concerns.

Jess Tudor said...

To Carol Riggs: Titles can't be copyrighted. While it's a good idea to use a unique title, you can have several of the same. FEED, for instance, is ALSO a book by Mira Grant.

To Krista: I think I like your old query better. I'm not sure whether Seth or Adair is the main character here.

Also, the line "Can she really abandon the cause she’s worked so hard for?" is hollow to me. If she cared about it that much, why'd she back out of the assassination? It's her own fault she has to make this choice. As for letting the Wingtoothers die, if that's a result of shutting off the Stream, why didn't you think of that already, since it was part of the original plan?

And what happens if you don't use any of our suggestions, but it sparks a title you do use? :)

Vengeance Uploaded
The Reality Implant
Artificial Voices

... and I definitely see a Kindle in someone's future. :)

Erica75 said...

I was going to be comletely original and suggest Toothless in Seattle, but now Honey Bear ruined it for me by saying the book doesn't happen in Seattle. Any chance you can change the setting?

Now I'll have to come up with something serious (leaves to figure out how to think seriously...)

Holly said...

Just seven entries, right? Okay, here's my last one:

The Wingtooth Chronicles (because I think Krista plans to write a series).

BUT I wish I could have entered these:
Writers Without Teeth
Honey Bear Without Teeth
Toothless Tales
Wired for Wingteeth

And finally, an important question: if you chew gum with your Wingtooth, does it affect the sound?

Jaimie said...

Here's mine:


If I think about titles too much, I start to go loopy and think of bad BAD titles like "The Teething Streams" or something. So I'm just gonna leave it there.

Too Cute said...

Great contest! Here are four ideas:

Smooth Talker

White Noise

Feed Deaf

The Last Wingtoother

:) Penelope Wright

A.L. Sonnichsen said...

Okay, I didn't want to look at anyone else's, so if these are repeats, SORRY! I promise I didn't steal on purpose.








I guess that's seven! I don't know if I mean any of these seriously, but who knows.... (I don't feel like I'm very good at this!!)

Great contest, Krista! :)

Holly said...

Krista, sorry for my snarkiness... I got carried away because, well, wingteeth are just irresistible...

Robin_Lucas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ryan Z Nock said...

I think a lot of the obvious ones have been taken already. I rather like 'Teething,' since it implies a change from infancy, or the pain of growing up. Appropriate for a novel with a revolution.

I'm a bit loathe to present yet another pun, but this one's a tad subtler.


Root Canal (bad Ryan, stop with tooth references)

More if I can think of any worthwhile.

Ryan Z Nock said...

Your query doesn't make it sound like a comedy, so I'd avoid titles with obvious wordplays, like 'Mental Floss' or 'Guerrilla Dentata.'

Ben Spendlove said...

I was gonna say Red in Tooth, but someone beat me.
Here's one I really like:

"Whose Teeth are as Swords"

And here's where it comes from:
"There is a generation, whose teeth are as swords, and their jaw teeth as knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from among men."
*shiver* --Proverbs 30:14

Robin_Lucas said...

Great concept. Can't wait to hear what you choose:


Ryan Z Nock said...

I just realized, in this setting, the government might actually be sending you messages through your teeth.

One last suggestion:

Bite the Hand

Ted Cross said...

Against the Stream

Liesl said...

Your query rocks.





And because I can't resist:




Meagan said...

What an interesting idea. I'll join the masses in saying how awful at titles I am, but I thought I'd offer a few that came to mind!

Hermes Falling
Streamsurf (or Stream Surf)

L. Bowser said...

Sounds like a great concept. Here are my titles.

Hermes Must Die
Stream of Unconsciousness
Wingtooth Savior
Silent Consciousness
The Invitation
The Takeover
Unconscious Hope

MarcyKate said...

You've got a great pitch! Here are my entries:

The Voices in Our Heads

Nicole Zoltack said...

Of Teeth and War

Toothless Takeover

Wingtoothers' Last Hope

Subconscious Choices

Conscious Choices

Unconscious Choices

Think for Yourself

JosephDMMiller said...

I like the suggestion of Toothless, but only if Adair is the MC.

Here's a few suggestions:

On Frail Wings
Under the Wing
Shedding Wings
Spreading Wings
Going Toothless
To Fly Without Wings

That's my seven. ;)

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Negative 28 Takeover

Biomedia's Destiny

Wingtooth's Wingman

A Toothless Takedown

Project Extraction

Voices From Within

I searched through some of your old posts trying to figure out if this was ya or mg...I think that makes a bi difference on the title. Good luck!

Erica75 said...

(Don't say The Dental Dilemma. Don't say The Dental Dilemma. Don't...)

Conference Conspiracy
Seth's Choice
Live Stream
Fighting Back
The Cost of Silence

Kimberly said...

Digital Minds
Digital Intelligence
Data Tooth
Digital Distortion
Virtual Distortion
Digital Dissent

Your story sounds great! Good luck finding a title!

Non Sequitur718 said...

Cognitive Dissonance
The Tidal Stream
The Toothsayer
Virtual Extraction

Jessica said...

Based on the query, I definitely think a title related to teeth. Of those offered so far, I really like "Extracted".

My offerings:

Open Wide
Bite Down

Your query sounds great!

Taryn7 said...

Great Query and Page. Here are my suggestions for a title:

1. Toothless Girls, Electronic Veneers, and Microchip Tears;

2. Can Boys with Electronic Veneers love Toothless Girls?

3. Can Microchip Boys love Toothless Girls and Still Save the World?

4. Streambreakers;

5. Drowning in an Electrnoic Pool with no Front Teeth;

6. Surfing the Electronic Stream with a Toothless Dream;

7. Surfing the Web with a Toothless Grin.

Taryn Hook, Tarynhook@yahoo.com

Gwendolyn Conover said...

The Toothless Tide
The Wingtooth Revolt
The Toothless
Outside the Stream
Weight of the Wingless
The Last Wingtooth

S. L. Bynum said...

This sounds like an interesting novel. I'm not usually good with titles, but here are my suggestions:

A Tooth for a Truth

Brain Overload

Wingtooth: Mind over Matter

Brain Damage

Tooth or Dare

Toothed and Toothless (this is my favorite. Toothed would represent Seth and toothless would represent Adair.)

Anonymous said...

Thought of one more over the weekend (to bring me up to my 7).


wilderness said...

The Toothless Brigade
The Truthfairy
The Ruthless Toothless
Media Overload
Media Root Canal
Digital Root Canal

Bittersweet Fountain said...

Personally I like the early suggestion of just Wingtooth. It's simple and unforgettable. But I've though of a few other suggestions:

1) Toothpicked
2) A Truth for A Tooth
3) Shark-Granny-Toothpick
4) The Sun, the Pyramid, and the Factory
5) The Granny Shark
6) A World Without Teeth

And my personal favorite but really not serious suggestion:

7) Hermes United: Not a Soccer Team

~Mandy P. :)

cheekychook said...

Thought of a 7th suggestion....

With or Without