Title Trouble

Yeah, same old story.
I always have trouble with titles.

This coming trilogy is called The Random Rain Quartet. [Ok, it’s 4 books, not 3, if I can sell the four.]

Tentatively, I have called them:




Problem is, I am not that happy with the title Drouthlord, for book one. Drouth means dry or drought, but most people won’t know that, so it isn’t particularly evocative. And it is important that the first book have an arresting title…

So my question is, would you be interested in a book called Drouthlord, if you knew nothing about it, or me?
Do you like snappy one word titles? Do you like those particular ones?

I did think of Waterlord, but then discovered that’s something from Warcraft gaming. What about Waterless instead of Drouthlord? Nah, I don’t think I like that much either.

What about longer titles like:

BOOK ONE: Under the Quartered Sky or Under a Quartered Sky

I like it but wonder if it doesn’t sound more like sf than fantasy.

BOOK TWO: Droughtmaster of the Scarpen
BOOK THREE: Waterpainter to the Far Sky
BOOK FOUR: Against a Random World

Sigh. I don’t know. Help!


Title Trouble — 11 Comments

  1. I really like Under a Quartered Sky – it would attract me more than Drouthlord, but I do read a lot of science fiction too.

    Would an “of” or “of the” title work? e.g. “Lord of Water” “Lord of the Rain”.

    Gosh, I’ve been reading your blog for ages and this is the first time I’ve commented – offering a vote as payback for all the entertainment.

    -Ross (threemonkeys)

  2. Hi Ross…nice to know you are here! And thanks for the comment. I think Drouthlord is a definite no-no…

    Heard you were at Conflux last weekend, you lucky fellow.

  3. Conflux was great fun and if the number of times I heard your name was any indication, you were missed. I also have a memory of the particular glee with which an attendee was displaying a copy of Havenstar they had found in the dealers room.


  4. I prefer the short names, but I’d like Droughtlord better than Drouthlord.

    Conflux sounded marvellous(sigh). Maybe next year…

  5. If drouth means drought, what’s wrong with Droughtlord? Mind you, in Queensland, you might not get many sales, drought a little too close to the bone lately!

  6. Some one found Havenstar in the Dealer’s room!!!! That is so unbelievably unfair. After all the time I spent in organising the room – not to have been the first to see it is a miscarraige of justice!
    I think Drouthlord sounds/looks too clunky. Rain death? Lord of the dry? Okay so I’m bad at titles too!
    The longer titles are more evocative but… longer.

  7. I like the short or one word titles the best, like Fiona McIntosh’s Odalisque. Not a word I knew, but it was rich with promise. I did think Drouth was a typo at forst!!!

  8. To second 2paw: Sometimes a word that seems like it’s almost a real word, or related to a real word–while not seeming like a real word–can intrigue. So, Drouthlord wouldn’t turn me off, and might intrigue me. I mean, if I didn’t already read your blog and wasn’t already intrigued. 😉

  9. I have to agree – the use of drough and drought could be seen as a typo.

    What about a synonym for dry in the titlename for the first book?

    Arid, parched (parch is a good verb for fantasy, because it’s antiquated), scorch(ed) …

    Droughtlord, Scorchmaster, Waterpainter, Rainmaker maybe?

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