What Will Your Literary Career Look Like?

Admit it: You have dreamt of what it would be like to be a celebrated, famous author. And now The Millions has made those dreams a little easier by providing a handy guide of what to title your novels throughout your career. From your smashing debut to your acclaimed final work, you now don't have to worry about what to put on your cover, because the formula has already been determined. Isn't it great?

Personally, I hate coming up with titles. I can barely figure out what to name a short story, let alone a full-length book, and I have never understood how some people are able to come up with such perfect titles, ones that somehow manage to perfectly capture the story perfectly, be intelligent and insightful, and just sound cool all at the same time. Titles like Pride and Prejudice or Cloud Atlas or To Kill A Mockingbird or World War Z.

But as it turns out, maybe titles aren't so grand or so mythic. Maybe they can be determined not by a soul-searching quest back through a manuscript, but rather by a formula and a little insight into how publishing careers tend to progress. That's the basic premise behind The Millions's brilliant suggestions for "How To Title Every Book You Ever Write," which lets you plug in some personal information and tells you what to title a book at every stage in your career.

So what does it look like? Well, I won't spoil the formula for you, but I will share what my sure to be illustrious publishing career will look like. Here goes.

The Debut Novel

You're young and new and your first novel is super promising and you're still excited and shiny. But don't worry, it's just because you don't know any better yet.

My Novel's Title: Lavender on Madonna Court

The Second Novel

Second novels rarely go over as well as first novels, but that's OK, because they can still have fun titles.

My Novel's Title: The Lawyer's Daughter

The Short Story Collection

Now that you need to make up for that sophomore slump, short stories are the perfect thing, right?

My Book's Title: The Monkey's Symphony

The Important, Literary Novel™

You're back on top of the world with a critically acclaimed book, and your career is going well.

My Novel's Title: The Ice Cream Workers of New York County

Another Literary Novel

You see? It wasn't a fluke. You can write literary fiction, and the haters can go be quiet now.

My Novel's Title: September in West End

A Novel For The Hell Of It

Do you even need to write anymore? You're already a household name. But hey, you'll give the people something new anyway.

My Novel's Title: The Wisdom of Pens

One Final Masterpiece

You might not write as much as you used to, but you make up for it by producing one final masterpiece, something enigmatic and contemplative that the literary world will remember you by.

My Novel's Title: Autumnwhy

So how did I arrive at these catchy and daring titles? For that, plus more witty insight into the trajectory of so many publishing careers, you'll have to check out The Millions and their formula here.

Images: Giphy (7)