The bad news is that, on the basis of their titles at least, none of the three novels I’ve completed to date is going to get me onto that list: Grown-Up People, First Time I Met The Blues and The Celebrity Next Door all scored a measly 10.2% - barely above the minimum possible score of 9%. Slightly more encouragingly, my work in progress, Going Back, scored 20.1%. I’ve been regarding that as strictly a working title, to be replaced by something better at a later stage, but maybe I shouldn’t be so quick to discard it.
Out of curiosity, I ran a few randomly chosen famous titles through the program as well, to see if the professionals are any better at naming their novels. The results were mixed: Far From The Madding Crowd scored the same as me, 10.2%, while Portnoy’s Complaint and Bridget Jones’s Diary both managed a scarcely more impressive 14.6%. Catcher In The Rye (a title I’ve always disliked – shows what I know) did better, with 26.3%, but the winner in this hugely unscientific survey was Midnight’s Children, with a whopping 44.2%.
I’m not sure any of this proves anything, of course, but it does mean I can legitimately compare myself to Thomas Hardy in one respect at least.