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Fantasy Writers

Title Suggestions

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  • #148764
    Joshua Scheele
    @storysmith

    Hey Everyone!

    It kinda annoys me that I have no title for my first book yet. I am hoping y’all can give me some suggestions.

    It has been difficult to come up with a name because the series or specifically the first book, do not exactly revolve around one character or item.

    The first series is about the journey of many races coming together under one banner to survive the onslaught of darkness. This is mostly thanks to a brave young princess and those who help her become who she is meant to be. She grows up and learns what she must do to save her world. She will learn how to fight like a warrior, be a worker and planner in times of peace and be the leader worthy of the loyalty and admiration of her family, friends, and followers. The first book is about her being rescued from slavery by her future followers and companions who then discover that evil is afoot and preparing to devour everything they hold dear.

    I was thinking of a title to do with courage, hope, freedom, or both as that is a huge emotional focus in the first book as it starts out the journey of fighting to survive. But I am not sure yet. If you have any suggestions, I would love to hear them.

    “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the assessment that something else is more important th

    #148774
    Rose
    @rose-colored-fancy

    @storysmith

    Well, a good place to start is that your title doesn’t have to be perfect 🙂 The only thing your title has to do is fit your genre and the general idea of your story. It isn’t part of the story, it doesn’t necessarily have to make a big thematic statement or show some other layer to the story. It just has to sound good, be (somewhat) memorable, and tell your readers what genre it is.

    First, think about your age range. Is it a YA? Is it an Adult? Next, what genre is it? I remember you said it’s a fantasy, so that’s a good place to start.

    Something that helps is to go to Amazon and just look through books in your genre and age range. You’ll pick up patterns. YA fantasy is pretty notorious for this. (They really do all sound the same) but that’s for a reason! It tells the reader exactly what the story is about. If I see the words “Crown/*Insert royal title*/Blood/Raven/Sword” in a title I pretty much instantly know it’s a YA fantasy.

    So, jot down any patterns you see, both in words and styles. (Like “Adjective Noun” or “Noun of Adjective and Adjective”) Pay attention though, those age quickly. The latter scheme has gone out of fashion and if you use it now your book will look like it was published a few years ago.

    Anyway, once you have those ideas, you can start writing down words related to your story and play the synonym game. Try to find one or two synonyms for each first word you get. So, instead of “Gold” try “Gilded”. Instead of Crown, try “Circlet”. Of course, you can take this to a pretty ridiculous point, but you get the idea, you don’t have to go with your first instinct.

    One thing that does help is to stick to at least slightly solid concepts. Not to say you can’t use abstract concepts like freedom, courage, liberty, etc but it often won’t be specific enough.

    Try fitting different words into the styles you identified earlier, and before you know it you’ll have something.

    I’ll give you an example from one of my future projects!

    It’s a YA fantasy story strongly related to the sea, pirates, music, rebellion, and hidden identities. The main character is a lighthouse keeper’s daughter, who is also a seamstress.

    So, here are a few of my concepts:

    Song of the Storm. (Not bad but a bit cliche. Sounds more MG too.)

    Waves of Change (Very cliche, sounds contemporary as well)

    Storm needle (Too abstract, I can’t picture it)

    Shards of storm (Again, very general)

    Shards of Starlight (Very vague, and it sounds like a romance ngl)

    Stitching the Storm. (Better)

    Mask of Storms (Interesting, I kind of like this one.)

     

    I haven’t decided anything on this, and I probably won’t soon! Write it down when you get an idea, and give it time!

    I hope this was helpful! Feel free to post a bunch of ideas, it often helps to explain them to other people and get feedback!

    Without darkness, there is no light. If there was no nighttime, would the stars be as bright?

    #148776
    Brian Stansell
    @obrian-of-the-surface-world

    Hi Joshua! (@storysmith)

    Rose has some great ideas!

    Make sure that your title connects with your story in a meaningful way.
    Look through the story and listen for a turn of phrase or a particular part that you feel might encapsulate your story’s essence.  I think the upcoming seminar on Theme might give you some good ideas.  If you can, connect your story title to your theme.
    My own work in progress has both a title and a subtitle since it will be a set of books (trilogy or tetralogy), with each book having a different but similar subtitle, which links it to the whole of the series.

    That may be something you’ll want to consider if you are planning on sequels.
    Famous and obvious examples are:
    The Chronicles of Narnia, which are often referred to as the “Narnia series” collectively, but each book has its own title.
    The Lord of The Rings with The Fellowship of The Ring, The Two Towers, and Return of the King serving under the main LOTR banner.
    Brandon Sanderson does this too with the Mistborn series.
    Terry Brooks does this with his Shannara books, etc.

    Is there one overarching title or word that connects your books?  Think of how readers might refer to your series in shorthand since so many things are abbreviated these days.

    My books will be under the main word: Excavatia
    (I know it sounds a bit like “Excaliber”, but with a subtle difference as being derived from the idea of “Excavation” or to dig up or uncover something.)  The word is evocative and that is what you want.  Something that intrigues and promises mysteries revealed and discoveries to be made.  My first book’s subtitle is “From Dust Arise” which plays into the idea of being given life or even of resurrection.  Adam was formed out of the dust, and we are called to new life spiritually as well.  My second book will be “A Swirl of Embers” which is the idea of passing through the fire (adversity) but still rising upward, which may be evocative of overcoming.  The third will be “Walls of Stone” which seems like an impediment that is so formidable it cannot be overcome, like a prison, however, there is this idea that it is an impediment that must be surmounted and scaled upward to get beyond it, so the three subtitles have the movement that requires rising upward.  A progression, if you will.
    So think of your story or stories as a progression.  How do the titles work to convey or hint at the story arc?  In my tale, Excavatia is a “Hidden or Buried Kingdom” that must be uncovered/discovered/realized through the outworking of a prophecy and restoration of three virtue stones to a golden crown that has been stolen and is under the possession of a great beast sleeping in the high recesses of a massive stone mountain range, the greatest impediment of the journey of my characters.  Occupants of the land are terrified that anyone pursuing the prophecy will awaken the monster and bring doom down upon the entire land.  Kingdoms have misused the power of the related “builder stones” and do not really understand the nature or purpose of the three virtue stones, but have hidden them away, lest some outworlders attempt to pursue the prophecy of the Hidden Kingdom and call forth the ancient king who is the rightful owner of the purloined diadem.

    Everything in my tale connects to the main idea of discovery, but more importantly to the idea of revealing that hidden kingdom that will transform the land and set it to right.

    Find these kinds of connections to your story and its heart and purpose and you will find the title that speaks to you even before opening the book.

    I hope that helps.
    God Bless!

    Brian Stansell (aka O'Brian of the Surface World)
    I was born in war.
    Fighting from my first breath.

    #149125
    Joshua Scheele
    @storysmith

    @rose-colored-fancy @obrian-of-the-surface-world

    Thank you for the great advice! It definitely helped. The most common themes and words I have noticed so far are dawn, knights, hope, and champions.

    A few ideas I thought of so far: The Rising of Valor, The Fight for Hope, From Desolation to Hope, The Call for the Valiant, The Valiant Few, and The Call for Champions.

     

    “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the assessment that something else is more important th

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