More on Title Troubles

Have had a great response from everyone both here and on the Voyageronline messageboard about titles…many thanks.

Jenny says don’t use anything about drought because it has negative connotations. Use rain instead. I reckon that’s because she lives in Alice Springs and they don’t get too much rain there. She also doesn’t like Droughtmaster because it is the name of a breed of cattle. (Yep – in fact, it was the name of a cow that inspired me to write the books to start with – so where did you think authors get their inspiration, eh?)

No one likes having both Drouthlord and Droughtmaster as titles, including me, although some find Drouthlord intriguing. There have been a few suggestions for using other words – yep, Gryphon, and Time Lord over on the Voyager board, I like the word parched too…hmm.

Ok, more questions.

  • Which is better for Book 1?
Under A Quartered Sky
Beneath A Quartered Sky

  • How does this sound for Book 2? (Is it better than simply Droughtmaster?)
Rainlords of the Scarpen

Book 3 I am more uncertain about. Several of the main characters end up as prisoners during the course of the book – in both the conventional sense, in prisons, or in other ways – magically, or as hostages, or because of onerous responsibilities that allow no freedom.

Captives ofCaged by…
Thinking aloud here. It is also largely – but not entirely – the tale of the waterpainter character. Hmm.. Images of…

How’s this:

Book 3: Shimmers on Painted Water

Book Four is not easy either. I like Time of Random Rain as a title, but it is not particularly applicable to the book, as a return to the time of random rain is what they have all been working to prevent.



More on Title Troubles — 7 Comments

  1. “Shimmers on Painted Water” sounds like the title of something you’d find in an art gallery.

    My problem with “Beneath (Under) a Quarted Sky”, is that it’s meaningless. It tells the potential reading nothing, which is a bad move in book 1 of a series when you’re trying to suck in new readers. You might get away with it later, but I wouldn’t chose that for a title likely to jump off the shelf at people.

    “Rain Lords of the Scarpen” makes a much better title for the same reason. It tells the reader that there are lords, they have something to do with rain and they live in a place called the Scarpen. (It wasn’t an accident that Trudi made bucketloads with a book called “The Magician’s Guild” you know…LOL)

    And my problem with the word “drought” isn’t because of where I live, Glenda. We don’t get droughts in the desert, or suffer water restrictions. It’s the rest of the country, in the grip of the worst drought on record and suffering water restrictions, that might have a visceral reaction to the concept.

    It’s the same logic that had the publishers going ga-ga over my original idea of calling “The Immortal Prince”, “Suicide of the Immortals”

  2. Okay, well, I like Under. I agree not Drouthlord and Droughtmaster. I think Drouthlord is more exotic, so I’d go with that. I like Rainlords of the Scarpen. I think Shimmers on Painted Water is bland and blah. No tension, nothing evocative. Very passive. I love Time of Random Rain. It sounds great, it’s mysterious, and it’s fine that it kicks into what they’re afraid of.

    But you may have trouble with just a 1 word title for bk 2 when the other titles are longer.

    For what any of that is worth!

  3. Hi Glenda, I’ve never posted here before, hope you don’t mind me throwing in my two cents’ worth.

    I prefer “under” to “beneath” if you go with that title, though Jenny’s advice on that makes sense. I like “Rain Lords” much better than either “Drouthlord” or “Droughtmaster”, as it sounds more poetic, but also it feels more powerful to be able to call the rain as opposed to causing a drought (though I realise it amounts to the same thing in practice!).

    I like Shimmers on Painted Water, and prefer it to anything with “waterpainter” in the title, as that word feels awkward to me (and makes me think of watercolour painting, which I guess is not what it’s about).

    I like Time of Random Rain, but if it’s what they’ve been fighting against, what about something like “To Defy the Random Rain”.

  4. I like ‘Beneath’ rather than ‘Under’ but ‘Quartered Sky’ is a unknown term for me. I am guessing that term will be revealed when reading the book.
    How about “‘Beneath the Weather Sectored Sky’?”

    By the way, ‘Rainmaker’ in Australia is a brand or model of a lawn sprinkler.

  5. You guys are great!

    And *laughs* I have found out I am writing books about beef cattle (droughtmaster), watercolour paintings (waterpainter), lawyers and lawn sprinklers(rainmaker). Grisham apparently wrote a book about lawyers called Rainmaker.

    Thanks for your help everyone – I appreciate it.

  6. I liked Rain Lords of the Scarpen, too. As a potential reader, that one’s already caught my attention ๐Ÿ™‚

    Shimmers on Painted Water sounds like a Japanese movie, so, for a fantasy novel, I’d give that one a miss ๐Ÿ˜€

    Time of Random Rain… hmm, dunno! Sorry to be so unhelpful!

    The Book Swede

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