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Monday, February 23, 2009

Titles Redux

This title search was truly difficult. I made word lists. I brainstormed combinations. I searched language dictionaries and pulled out my trusty thesaurus. The problem was, of course, that I was trying to think while madly producing words to reach the end. Until early last week, I could not have told you what the blasted stories are truly about.

First iteration - a set of Latin titles. I wanted to introduce a Renaissance feel to the names. The books are set in a world on the brink of an explosion of scientific advancement. I came up with Latin titles I loved for the second and third books, but I couldn't find one I liked for the book I was working on. A little survey on my Warrior of Two Souls Forum bore out my editor's conclusion - the only title that had come to mind-and wasn't in current use!-would not mean anything to readers who hadn't come across the term somewhere else. It could actually lead to the wrong conclusion. Bummed. (I still love Ars Maledicta, my planned title for Book 2, though!)

But as I neared the end of the book, it suddenly dawned on me that everything in this book...and the series...had to do with seeing. Both physical and metaphorical. Seeing into secrets. Seeing through deceptions. Seeing into hearts and souls. Seeing through lenses - spyglasses, prisms, spectacles. Looking through a device and seeing something wholly unpredictable. There is even a scientific demonstration of "the nature of light" in the book (based in part on a historical demonstration of Isaac Newton's). And this started me thinking about optical devices.

Second iteration - Despite what I said in the earlier post about shying away from objects in titles, I realized that "seeing devices" could represent the "scientific side" of the Sabrian world. But if I were to go in that direction, I wanted to juxtapose a word that would convey "magic" or the "spiritual" side of the world, referencing the balance and harmony of the two sides (or lack thereof! Picture evil grin here.)

After much whirling, I came up with "The Adept's Lens," adept being the reference to magic. But I didn't like the specificity. This story isn't about one person or one instrument, and certainly not about one person's instrument.

I finished the book at 1am last Wednesday. And Thursday I woke up with the titles. And they are...

The Spirit Lens

The Soul Mirror

The Daemon Prism

This story is about seeing. Each title is an object, but each is also a metaphor for seeing, so you can expect that each part of the each title has multiple references. And to impart a slight flavor of the Renaissance, instead of a series title, each will be appended with

a novel of the Collegia Magica

I am happy. My editor is happy. The marketing folks are happy. So far, so good.


Kathy Amen said...

I like them! And I'm excited to think I'll have a new book of yours to read before long.

It must be rather anxiety-producing to have a book almost done and not know what to call it.....for my much smaller-scale projects I almost always have to have a title in mind before I can even begin to work!

carolwriter said...

Some just come early. Flesh and Spirit manifested itself after I'd written a single paragraph. But some just take longer. This was definitely the latest.

Anonymous said...

The Spirit Lens -- Oh, I like it. Can't wait to find out what you can do with that thing. ;o)

Glad you've found your titles!


Anonymous said...

Can't wait to read them. It's perhaps just as well you changed the name of the second book- asking for a book called "Ars.." could cause some confusion and/or embarrassment in the UK. It was a good name, though.

carolwriter said...

Oooohhh - well, of course it would have been prounounced ARZ!

Anonymous said...

I really like all the tiles and the series name.
I'm so curious about the Renaissance flavour of the story! :-)