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Writing => Title Talk => Topic started by: Tabris on March 30, 2016, 03:57:25 PM

Title: Please help me title this book?
Post by: Tabris on March 30, 2016, 03:57:25 PM
I'm working on the next Seven Archangels novel, and I suck at titles. Really, really terrible at them. Either I get a title fully-formed when I start the story or else I just don't get one at all.

This time, I had one fully formed, only now I'm not happy with it, and nothing else is coming to me.

The book is an adventure romp with angels.

If you want the early version of the blurb, the one I wrote before writing the book, it's here:

Hell's high command is up to something, and Remiel knows it's not pre-planning for Corporate Field Day. When Remiel and Zadkiel infiltrate the underworld, they discover Satan's new weapons only to unwittingly set off the first one, leaving Zadkiel blind and Remiel disabled, as well as maiming one of the high-ranking demons.

While Michael spearheads a team into the heart of Hell to disable the rest of the weapons, Remiel and Zadkiel seek refuge on Earth among the early Christian community and must at the same time avoid, or disarm, one of their deadliest enemies. Because like any predator, a wounded demon is twice as dangerous. And he knows they're holding the only possible chance for him to save himself.


The working title from word number one was "Shrapnel Of The Dead."

No one likes it.

Okay. Well, I like the shrapnel part. So I'm kind of stumbling around here, and I can't give the info to my cover artist until I have a title because she kind of needs that to do a title, so please help me talk this through.

Shrapnel Of The Dead {the original one}
Shrapnel's Cost  {Shrapnel's NOUN}
Mortality's Shrapnel {NOUN's Shrapnel}

Knowing me, it'll probably end up with a title like The Colorless Weight Of Sleeping Green Ideas but really...help?
Title: Re: Please help me title this book?
Post by: Missus Braidyhead on March 30, 2016, 04:42:36 PM
Well, I really like The Colorless Weight Of Sleeping Green Ideas, but yeah, let's work with Shrapnel.

Actually, let's not. Please don't hate me, but MUST we have Shrapnel? It's such an awkward-sounding word.

Immortal Weapons
Wings of Shrapnel (see, I'm not being totally unhelpful by ignoring shrapnel)
Deadliest Shrapnel (and the word shrapnel starts looking weirder and weirder)
Shrapnel of the Demon
Weapons of the Demon
Among the Mortals
Wounded Demon

I don't know...maybe something in there will spark a better idea for you?
Title: Re: Please help me title this book?
Post by: jldelozier on March 30, 2016, 05:02:27 PM
I kind of think "demons" needs to be in there somewhere so you know what the book is about. Shrapnel's Cost could be a WWII book...

How about:
The Wounded and the Damned
Demonic Wounds
The Devil's Arsenal

Any of those appeal?
Title: Re: Please help me title this book?
Post by: Tabris on March 30, 2016, 07:02:49 PM
The angels are the focus of the book, not the demons, so I'd prefer to leave them out of the title.

If Shrapnel has to go, it goes, but know that I'm going to make a Sad Face at you first.  :wink:

The other titles in the series so far are:

An Arrow In Flight
Sacred Cups
Annihilation

In that company, Mortality's Shrapnel or Shrapnel of the Dead didn't seem so awkward to me. I don't mind a long title, but shrapnel comes from the way the demons' weapon was made from the debris of something the angels blew up in the previous book. Shards would work too, I guess. Mortality's Shards. (Shards Of The Dead totally doesn't work. Even I can hear that.)

Bleh. Titles.
Title: Re: Please help me title this book?
Post by: longknife on March 30, 2016, 07:20:48 PM
My immediate reaction is what does shrapnel have to do with angels? It distracts me.
Title: Re: Please help me title this book?
Post by: Tabris on March 30, 2016, 07:47:09 PM
This is the third book in the series (they're out of order) so by now, the reader is pretty much over the "hey, they're angels!" bit and they'll just go ahead and read the book. The full title will be Seven Archangels: Whatever Of The Whatever.
Title: Re: Please help me title this book?
Post by: Tabris on March 30, 2016, 07:48:00 PM
If Shrapnel is out, Splinters works too. I'm looking for a word that means Itty Bitty Bits That Could Hurt You.
Title: Re: Please help me title this book?
Post by: Missus Braidyhead on March 30, 2016, 09:27:57 PM
Seven Archangels: Shards of Evil

(And just pretend I wasn't doing the Mike Myers's ee-VIL. Froo-its of the de-VIL. Karma to whoever gets that reference.)
Title: Re: Please help me title this book?
Post by: 007 fan on March 30, 2016, 09:39:22 PM
Seven Archangels: Shards of Evil

(And just pretend I wasn't doing the Mike Myers's ee-VIL. Froo-its of the de-VIL. Karma to whoever gets that reference.)

So I Married an Ax Murderer?



My contribution is Slivers of Evil or Splinters of Evil. I like the common 'L' sound. 
Title: Re: Please help me title this book?
Post by: Missus Braidyhead on March 30, 2016, 09:58:18 PM
Seven Archangels: Shards of Evil

(And just pretend I wasn't doing the Mike Myers's ee-VIL. Froo-its of the de-VIL. Karma to whoever gets that reference.)

So I Married an Ax Murderer?



My contribution is Slivers of Evil or Splinters of Evil. I like the common 'L' sound. 

You win, 007fan!

I like Splinters of Evil. It's even better because my critique group is called the Splinters. :)
Title: Re: Please help me title this book?
Post by: Pandean on March 30, 2016, 11:20:43 PM
How about

The Scatter of Shrapnel or something?
Title: Re: Please help me title this book?
Post by: slightlysmall on March 30, 2016, 11:42:40 PM
Well, your titles so far were four words, then two, then one, so this one should be zero words, right?  :wink:

An Arrow in Flight is my favorite of the titles you've already used. My favorite way to title things is from a phrase in the book itself. It's how EXPIRATION DATE became SMALL THINGS. IDK if that's helpful, but I can't think of anything using shrapnel/shards/splinters that I like.
Title: Re: Please help me title this book?
Post by: violet on March 31, 2016, 01:19:23 AM
I like shrapnel. :D

I think to use it, though, you need to contrast imagery. Something terrible with something beautiful. Splinter is good too.

Shrapnel Among(st) (The?) Angels
Splintered Light
Splintered Salvation
Heaven's Splintered Light


Title: Re: Please help me title this book?
Post by: Tabris on March 31, 2016, 06:07:00 AM
Well, your titles so far were four words, then two, then one, so this one should be zero words, right?  :wink:


You're right! We're done here.

 :wag: :wag: :wag: :wag: :wag:
Title: Re: Please help me title this book?
Post by: Tabris on March 31, 2016, 06:13:29 AM
I like shrapnel. :D

I think to use it, though, you need to contrast imagery. Something terrible with something beautiful. Splinter is good too.


Oh, I see! That makes total sense. THat's part of how we came up with The Wrong Enemy as a title.

An Arrow in Flight is my favorite of the titles you've already used. My favorite way to title things is from a phrase in the book itself. It's how EXPIRATION DATE became SMALL THINGS.

Which is also how we came up with The Wrong Enemy. The slight problem here was that I haven't edited the book yet, and that's the stage when the awesome phrases start clicking into place.

I wanted to get the cover set up so everything would be ready to go and I could do promo stuff, but I'm still neck-deep in working on Pickup Notes (another book that was like yanking wisdom teeth to title.) Bulletproof Vestments titled itself after a character's offhand remark. Half Missing got a title after I wrote sobbing to a friend and said, "We need to go on submission, but neither my agent nor I has even the slightest clue..."  (She hasn't offered any titles yet, but she will read the book later on after I've edited it a bit.)

Something like "Splinters Of The Damned" just sounds so...weird to me. But I really like the idea of pairing the dangerous thing with the beautiful thing. I'm going to have to look through that. (Unfortunately "Shattered Souls" has already been taken by a writer I adore, so I'll just keep looking.)  ;D ;D
Title: Re: Please help me title this book?
Post by: Sarah Ahiers (Falen) on March 31, 2016, 07:53:35 AM
I'm so bad at titles. If they don't come to me right away, they don't come at all
Title: Re: Please help me title this book?
Post by: MookyMcD on March 31, 2016, 11:29:13 AM
the phrase "the damned" makes me think of zombies, but that could just be me.

Saving Private Remiel?  ;D

TBH, the term shrapnel conjures something too earthly and concrete, particularly when working it in with your other titles. It also sounds like you may be pulling your title from the inciting event instead of the central conflict (or maybe not, depending on the degree of injury and how much of the conflict in the story derives from that). If it's the latter, maybe use "a wounded angel" as a starting point (but it's a common title, so that can't be your endpoint). If not, maybe some more info on the central conflict in the story would point us somewhere we could be more helpful.

I LOVE title work, to be honest. But for me, like most of this stuff, it's a process.
Title: Re: Please help me title this book?
Post by: Tabris on March 31, 2016, 12:03:24 PM
Okay, so if we're working more from the central themes of the story, I think we get things like:

the past
Grief
Separation
Being emotionally stuck
Wanting to protect yourself

Splinters Of The Past doesn't quite sing to me, though. ;-) 

If we use Violet's idea of combining any of these ideas with something to contrast them, though, that might come up with something interesting. I'm going to go for a run and wait for something brilliant to pop into my head. It won't, but that at least kicks the can down the road a couple of hours.
Title: Re: Please help me title this book?
Post by: Aubrey on March 31, 2016, 12:54:56 PM
Chiming in to say that I like the Splinters of Evil, Splinters of Light, Splinters of . . .  the best. Good luck!
Title: Re: Please help me title this book?
Post by: Tabris on March 31, 2016, 01:11:30 PM
Back from my run. What if I played on "death where is thy sting" with something like Death's Stinger?
Title: Re: Please help me title this book?
Post by: BlackRabbit on March 31, 2016, 01:33:54 PM
I like coming up with titles, but this is a tough one! I'm just going by some of the words you've mentioned already (plus angels, minus demons), but how about:

Splintered Wings
Asunder
Fragmented Light
Mortal Fragments
Title: Re: Please help me title this book?
Post by: Tabris on March 31, 2016, 01:46:45 PM
I like the feel of "Mortal Fragments." ...
Title: Re: Please help me title this book?
Post by: slightlysmall on March 31, 2016, 02:09:03 PM
I like the idea of playing on death where is thy sting, but the apostrophe in your example seems too informal to me. Maybe THE [ADJECTIVE] STING OF DEATH?

Mortal Fragments is good, but it reminds me too much of Cassie Clare's Mortal Instruments, which I don't find a good thing.
Title: Re: Please help me title this book?
Post by: BlackRabbit on March 31, 2016, 03:04:09 PM
Mortal Fragments is good, but it reminds me too much of Cassie Clare's Mortal Instruments, which I don't find a good thing.

Haha, I was worried someone would say that. I like the double meaning in the word "mortal," but I definitely feel like it may be forever tainted now.

Fatal Fragments?
Title: Re: Please help me title this book?
Post by: Tabris on March 31, 2016, 03:19:01 PM
Pins and Evils.  :crazy:

I see what you say about Mortal Anything.
Title: Re: Please help me title this book?
Post by: Doggy Teng on March 31, 2016, 10:30:05 PM
I'm afraid I don't have any great ideas, although I can see how 'Death's Stinger' might work -- I think you may be closer with that one.  But I also wanted to say that 'shrapnel' has too many specific earthly associations for me as well.  'Splinters' is all right, but the word in that category that I like best is 'shards' -- I think that would fit better in this context, i.e., 'Shards of Such-and-such' or 'Something Shards'.