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  1. #1
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    Title Help: what do you think?

    I have a new trilogy coming out next year, called The Mirage Makers. Book one is entitled Heart of the Mirage and book 3 is Song of the Shiver Barrens.

    The title of book 2, though, has been giving me problems. The only thing I can come up with is Exaltarch. It suits the storyline ...but I am worried that it may be hard to remember or pronounce, or simply that it means nothing to a reader and therefore won't be memorable. Any comments? What does it suggest to you?

  2. #2
    I AM too a mod! Moderator Rocket Sheep's Avatar
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    Hmmm, I'm expecting a fantasy story set in a French castle.

    It's a bit hard to get my sheepy tongue around but I think I could remember it okay.

  3. #3
    I AM too a mod! Moderator Rocket Sheep's Avatar
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    Shiver Barrens sounds cool... makes me remember Richard's Love Vampires tho... Shiver Barons?

  4. #4
    boss of several cats... Severn's Avatar
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    Hello.

    I've recently bought one of your books (The Tainted - I'm on the hunt now for 1 & 2) so I've been stumbling around the forum a little.

    This caught my eye and so I couldn't resist replying. What I find interesting about Exaltarch is not the word itself. I quite like it actually - conjures up images of power, strength. That power feels a little dark, and not knowing anything about your story I wouldn't know if that's an accurate feeling.

    But what I find really interesting is how Exaltarch fits in with your other two title choices.

    Both are alliterative, which of course produces a flow of sound that rolls of the tongue. Exaltarch - aye, that's a stumbler. Not hard to say precisely, to pronounce, but...if the other two titles were a stream, Exaltarch is the scattering of stones in the bed that you have to pick through to cross it. I hope that makes sense!

    So, is it important for you for your titles to have a flow-on effect? Having a disconnected-sounding title is actually almost a device in and of itself. That could make it memorable - it certainly stands out from the other two. Personally, it would be far more memorable for me than 'Song of the Shiver Barrens' simply because I like short, strong sounding words.

    Just my little thinkings...

    Cheers

    K

  5. #5
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    Thanks guys...

    Severn - hope you enjoy The Tainted . The other two ought to be available in NZ; if you can't find them, get your bookseller to order them. I wouldn't advise reading them out of order!

    As for what you said re the title - I must admit that the one and only criteria I have is to find something that suits the story. It's hard enough to do that without worrying about the flow-on effect! Titles always seem to give me trouble, goodness knows why. Seems silly to say, after writing a 150,000 word book, that I don't know what to call it!

    Actually, though, I love what you've said about it being disconnected-sounding, because the middle book is in some ways the odd man out in setting and plot. So maybe Exaltarch is the right title after all.

  6. #6
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    Congratulations, Glenda!

    Names, like placenames, are so difficult to get right; I have been put off reading books by characters whose names or places seem 'not right'.

    Or at the very least not take them seriously....

    For the record, I quite like Exaltarch - sounds impressive! Short, direct, mysterious - makes me want to read more. What is it? Who is it? etc etc.

    Severn's river analogy was quite good too....

    Hobbit
    Mark

  7. #7
    boss of several cats... Severn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glendalarke
    Thanks guys...

    Severn - hope you enjoy The Tainted . The other two ought to be available in NZ; if you can't find them, get your bookseller to order them. I wouldn't advise reading them out of order!
    Oh I'm notorious for buying books out of order - and there they sit on the shelf until I can safely read from book 1, never fear.

    Quote Originally Posted by glendalarke
    As for what you said re the title - I must admit that the one and only criteria I have is to find something that suits the story. It's hard enough to do that without worrying about the flow-on effect! Titles always seem to give me trouble, goodness knows why. Seems silly to say, after writing a 150,000 word book, that I don't know what to call it!
    Confession: I find this wryly amusing simply because I have had 'writer's block' (I prefer to call it 'Muse-rejection') for an embarrassingly long time. But I have a title for my first contemporary novel, so you know what? I wish I had your problem!

    Quote Originally Posted by glendalarke
    Actually, though, I love what you've said about it being disconnected-sounding, because the middle book is in some ways the odd man out in setting and plot. So maybe Exaltarch is the right title after all.
    I'm not sure if finding a title name is anything like 'choosing' a character's name. If it is you'll probably end up with Exaltarch no matter what you do because the book won't allow you another choice. I like Exaltarch, and what you have said above confirms the choice somewhat.

    And Hobbit - ta, doing curtsey, heh.

    K

  8. #8
    SF Author Spacejock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glendalarke
    The title of book 2, though, has been giving me problems. The only thing I can come up with is Exaltarch. It suits the storyline ...but I am worried that it may be hard to remember or pronounce, or simply that it means nothing to a reader and therefore won't be memorable. Any comments? What does it suggest to you?
    Hi Glenda,

    I'm not sure about Exaltarch. Anything which people have difficulty saying, reading or typing is a no-no. Is there anything with two syllables you can use?

    Shiver Barrens and Mirage Makers are fine, in my opinion. The other one's a consonant breaker ;-) To match the others it should really be something something (Two two syllable words)

    Cheers
    Simon

  9. #9
    Hi Glenda,

    I've moved house and have just unpacked my library. I was pleased to see your books again after they'd been in storage for several months and I intend to read them again asap. However, I thought I'd check in and see if the new book is on its way - and I'm very pleased to see that it is!

    I love the title Mirage Makers, but I'm iffy about Exaltarch. I agree with Simon
    Quote Originally Posted by Spacejock
    Anything which people have difficulty saying, reading or typing is a no-no. Is there anything with two syllables you can use? ....To match the others it should really be something something (Two two syllable words)
    And your editor will have some input, won't she? I've read somewhere that publishers like matching titles for trilogies.

    Looking forward to Mirage Makers!

    Cheers,
    Satima

  10. #10

    You write great books where can I get havenstar please?

    Hi there! Firstly your new series sounds really awesome, I would not worry about weird names though, after I have read a book by an author I like I remember the name, I tend to look for author names not actual titles... but that's just me! Great job on the tainted series I loved them and cannot wait for the next series!!! Oh and can you please put them in regular size paperbacks or just skip to hardcover, authors drive me mad how they put their books out in so many formats, they are so hard to fit into book cases! Also I would ike to get my hands on a copy of havenstar, been looking on ebay but none seem to come up.

    Keep up the good work though!

  11. #11
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    Unhappy

    Thanks for everyone's input!

    The book has gone off to HarperCollins Australia as "Exaltarch", so - unless the publisher decides at the last minute they don't like it - that's what it will be. And getting it finished is why I haven't been visiting this forum for so long!

    Dnieall - authors have absolutely NO say in how the book is published - paperback, trade paperback or hardback. None. Well, I guess if you are JK Rowlings, you could probably decide, but the rest of us struggling authors - no way. Mostly we have not much say in cover pix or design or cover blurb or marketing or publication dates either... And you know what - mostly we grin and bear it, we're just so grateful to be published.

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