Playing with Titles

As I am dismantling Butterflies, I have nicknamed the books.  It makes it easier as I write, and gives me easy names for the documents on my computer.  Titles are not my favorite, so I don’t mind using working titles for now.

However, last night I had a little bit of inspiration that I am now toying with.  Each of the books corresponds to a line in an oracle’s prophecy.  That prophecy will be in the front of each book.  It occured to me that I could play with that and take words from the prophecy to create the titles.

It’s a good idea in theory but it’s proving a touch more challenging in real life.  Here’s the prophecy, as it currently stands:

When a blood-red moon sees a triad born,
The kingdom of Diaea by war will be torn.
If a name that is feared will be honored once more,
If a hero’s girl grows to a soldier of war,
If the country’s young prince finds the one that he seeks,
Then three butterflies have a chance to bring peace.

Right now I’m focusing on three of the novels, which are the lines underlined above.  One of the titles is fairly easy.  Gretchen’s novel can become A Hero’s Daughter.  The other two are not so easy.  A Name that is Feared and The One He Seeks are kind of odd names for novels.  I’m still working on it.

There is one thing I have to keep in mind: I might want to reword or change the prophecy!

Now I remember why titles aren’t fun.

Name Recognition

There is an episode of Grey’s Anatomy called “Don’t Stand So Close To Me.”  This title refers to physical contact and personal space, but that’s not the thought I had when I saw the title.  I immediately referenced the Sting/Police song about an inappropriate relationship between a teacher and his student.  Needless to say, it took me a little bit to get my focus in the right place (and to get that song out of my head).

This is something that we have to remember when we name people, places, or even stories.  There is nothing we can use that doesn’t carry baggage for someone.  That said, it’s impossible to avoid every name that one or two people might dislike; after all, we all have that ex-boyfriend/former friend/school bully in our lives that will forever taint a certain name.  But it doesn’t make sense (unless you want to draw comparisons) to name a young wizard Harry or a teenage vampire Edward.  Those names are already taken – avoid the baggage and pick something else.

It never hurts to Google a potential book title or enter a name into Wikipedia, just to make sure you avoid any particularly dangerous titles.  After all, if your book has nothing to do with a drag nightclub in Miami, choosing to call it The Birdcage might not get it to the target audience.  🙂