In the latest issue of Hearts Talk (the RWAustralia newsletter ) there is a very good article by Aussie Harlequin M&B author Ally Blake on the importance of a working title. (Checkout her site on my website links)
It really hit the spot for me. She quoted quite a few well known authors who say their working title sums up the essence or the theme of the book. The title is often changed by the publisher, but for them this is the core, the lodestone of the story while they write.
My first book The Right Chord, was Leopard's Spots. For me that sums up Grace's dilemma. She wants to change her personality from affable and obliging to tough and direct, but can't get it right because it goes against her true nature. The self awareness achieved by attempting the change results in a different Grace by the end of the story.
Strings Attached was always the same title. It's perfect even if I do say so myself ! Jack doesn't like his women with strings attached, but Hannah, in his words 'has more strings attached than a harp.'
My forthcoming Avalon release Coming Home was initially Lame Duck but I knew (sorry in advance :) )that title would never fly. Coming Home does a pretty good job summing up the storyline though. All the main characters find their home both physically and emotionally.
Ally's article made me think about the importance of the working title. I'd always liked to work with a title on the top of the page and I realise now why that was so. It's a guidelight. My current wip didn't have one except for the heroine's name, but as I'm a seat of the pantser that didn't help beyond a certain point. The wip had been muddling along for a while. I had a big think and came up with The Right Place and for me that sums up what my heroine is searching for. The hero has already found his place in the world, but she hasn't and at the moment neither of them can believe it's with him.