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Title Ideas And Advice Needed Please


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Hey Everyone! 

 

I pray you are all having a blessed week! As some of you know, I am currently in the process of worldbuilding/designing a large fantasy novel series. I have never named any stories this large and I am kind of stuck at the moment on ideas. I have thought of naming the series after the world it is in but I am quite sure yet. The theme focus of the series is about character growth and quality that will embed basic Christian moral principles that will hopefully impact the reader in regards to real life challenges. I will put my merry band of characters through countless trials to be spiritually, physically, and mentally challenged to always do what is right no matter the cost to uphold their values of duty, honor, integrity, and faith. I would really appreciate any advice and suggestions on naming books and its series? Thank you!

Edited by Storysmith
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I am the absolute worst at coming up with titles. I open up a new document on Notepad and jot down every possible title idea that comes into my head, and keep the least cringe-inducing ones. I'll have a look on Amazon to check whether they've been used already. I don't mind titles with slight similarities to existing books. But if they're too close, or if, for example, I find the title I want to use belongs to a mega-famous book or one in a dicey genre, I'll cross it off my list. I'll then ask trusted author friends for their opinions on 3-4 of my options.

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The kind of themes you are going for in your story have been done many times (Narnia, Lord of the Rings, Pilgrim's Progress etc.). The theme in this case is important but insufficient information from which to draw a title. 

What is the unique quality or idea of your book compared with those that have gone before? What component of your story best encapsulates that qualtiy or idea? Is there a word or phrase that can describe or name that component? 

That word or phrase might be your title.

The title of the series might be trickier because you would need to determine the unique quality or idea that connects all the books in the series, though if this is too difficult to pinpoint and hang a name on you can always name the series based on the setting or main character.

If you choose this though you need to make sure that the eponymous main character or setting are very well crafted and strong and unique selling points in their own rights. A main character that is too generic or a setting that feels like it was copy and pasted from Tolkein or other fantasy books will turn off many readers to begin with but it will do so even more quickly if you named your whole series off of that character or setting and thereby made it your selling point.

 

An analogy from how things are named in nature: There are many butterflies (fantasy novels). A group of these butterflies have tails on the end of their hind wings (the unique quality of your series) and are called swallowtails (a name derived from a clever or poetic description of that unique quality).

One species of swallowtail (a specific title in your series) is yellow with black stripes (the unique quality of that book in particular) and is called a tiger swallowtail (a name again derived from a clever or poetic description of that unique quality).

 

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18 hours ago, EBraten said:

I am the absolute worst at coming up with titles. I open up a new document on Notepad and jot down every possible title idea that comes into my head, and keep the least cringe-inducing ones. I'll have a look on Amazon to check whether they've been used already. I don't mind titles with slight similarities to existing books. But if they're too close, or if, for example, I find the title I want to use belongs to a mega-famous book or one in a dicey genre, I'll cross it off my list. I'll then ask trusted author friends for their opinions on 3-4 of my options.

Thank you I will keep that in mind.

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13 hours ago, Entoman said:

The kind of themes you are going for in your story have been done many times (Narnia, Lord of the Rings, Pilgrim's Progress etc.). The theme in this case is important but insufficient information from which to draw a title. 

What is the unique quality or idea of your book compared with those that have gone before? What component of your story best encapsulates that quality or idea? Is there a word or phrase that can describe or name that component? 

That word or phrase might be your title.

The title of the series might be trickier because you would need to determine the unique quality or idea that connects all the books in the series, though if this is too difficult to pinpoint and hang a name on you can always name the series based on the setting or main character.

If you choose this though you need to make sure that the eponymous main character or setting are very well crafted and strong and unique selling points in their own rights. A main character that is too generic or a setting that feels like it was copy and pasted from Tolkien or other fantasy books will turn off many readers to begin with but it will do so even more quickly if you named your whole series off of that character or setting and thereby made it your selling point.

 

An analogy from how things are named in nature: There are many butterflies (fantasy novels). A group of these butterflies have tails on the end of their hind wings (the unique quality of your series) and are called swallowtails (a name derived from a clever or poetic description of that unique quality).

One species of swallowtail (a specific title in your series) is yellow with black stripes (the unique quality of that book in particular) and is called a tiger swallowtail (a name again derived from a clever or poetic description of that unique quality).

 

Thank you, I really appreciate the advice. It definitely gave me a lot to things to consider and new ideas. I will definitely need to come back to those questions.

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Hello from another Christian fantasy writer!! 

 

I, too, am terrible at coming up with titles. I would honestly advise not to let titles and/or names get in the way of your storytelling. I would suggest working on the plot and characters - you'll tend to learn more about them as you do, as well as certain recurring motifs and themes. This may provide titles and/or names with time. ☺️

 

Also, to echo what @Entoman said - fantasy stories are a dime a dozen and Christian fantasy, especially, seems to have fallen into a bit of a rut, with similar plots and characters happening over and over. Research and look into what has been done to death with plots and characters. Then, try to do something different. Turn the plot left when people expect the plot to turn right. Give your characters unexpected traits and backstories. This will make your story stand out. 

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1 hour ago, PenName said:

Hello from another Christian fantasy writer!! 

 

I, too, am terrible at coming up with titles. I would honestly advise not to let titles and/or names get in the way of your storytelling. I would suggest working on the plot and characters - you'll tend to learn more about them as you do, as well as certain recurring motifs and themes. This may provide titles and/or names with time. ☺️

 

Also, to echo what @Entoman said - fantasy stories are a dime a dozen and Christian fantasy, especially, seems to have fallen into a bit of a rut, with similar plots and characters happening over and over. Research and look into what has been done to death with plots and characters. Then, try to do something different. Turn the plot left when people expect the plot to turn right. Give your characters unexpected traits and backstories. This will make your story stand out. 

Thanks! I really appreciate the advice. 

Edited by Storysmith
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I definitely want my story to stand out as much as possible by creating something unexpected. I want the reader to be able to explore the world while also getting to know my characters in their trials and adventures. One of my others main goals is to create storyline and world that will not end with one big story but also have plenty of room for more. I certainly would appreciate everyone's thoughts on that I am trying to not copy much from my inspirations of the Redwall series, Lord of the Rings, and Narnia. I will only take the great ideas that stuck out to me the most in the books such as the comedy, the simple life, poems, songs, riddles, puzzles, the thrill of battle, and mysteries. I also want to add a good amount of focus on professions, economics, city/nation building, leading men/armies, and military strategies/tactics. However I do think my writing has been influenced by them too much. lol 😂 This project is definitely going take some time to accomplish, but I look forward to everyone's critics and advice along the way. 

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