Jul 12 2010

Even More Ways to Blow a Title

Published by at 11:09 pm under Titles

1. Be careful about needlessly long titles, particularly ones loaded with separate phrases. They’re typically less inviting to prospective readers and harder for people to remember. Unusually bizarre titles, like Saddam Hussein and the Hippies from Space, have more latitude here. (Regardless of length, they will be memorable).

2. If your title does not appeal to prospective readers, start over! Some words that rarely mean much to prospective readers include fictional character and place names.  Alternately, some authors use puns.  If the reader immediately makes prospective readers smile, fine. If readers will only understand the pun after reading the work, they won’t ever find out how witty the pun is… because they won’t open the book.


3. Words unfamiliar to prospective readers are not typically effective. “But The Legend of Bjornistan will really draw readers!” Unless the audience is Bjornistani, it definitely won’t.

4. Avoid words that tell a prospective reader something he already knows. In particular, words like “story” (book, tale, legend, chronicle, ballad, myth, fable and the like) are spectacularly ineffective. Your readers can see it’s a book, so telling them it’s a story is probably an insult to their intelligence. Two exceptions: comedic effect or conveying information that might not be otherwise obvious. For example, a word like “autobiography” or “memoir” may tell us something we didn’t know before.

5. I think it’s generally effective to name chapters. If your chapters aren’t titled, your table of contents will look this bland:

–Chapter One: 1

–Chapter Two: 25

Readers will see this page before the story, and it’s more boring than professional blackjack. In contrast, a list of chapters with interesting titles may show off your style and entice readers to keep going.

1. Don’t Vote! (It Only Encourages Them): 1

2. The Empire State Strikes Back: 25

3. A Hurricane of Coconuts: 47

Are you wondering what I can do with a chapter called “A Hurricane of Coconuts”? Then you’ll probably make it to chapter 3.

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54 responses so far

54 Responses to “Even More Ways to Blow a Title”

  1. ekimmakon 13 Jul 2010 at 3:43 am

    How’s this for a title?

    Extreme Team: Chain Reactions

  2. NicKennyon 13 Jul 2010 at 6:10 am

    ekimmak

    I’m thinking explosions. It works…

  3. ShardReaperon 13 Jul 2010 at 6:48 am

    How about Jake Versus the Blazing Baroness?

  4. B. Macon 13 Jul 2010 at 9:05 am

    “Extreme Team: Chain Reactions” –> What’s the target audience for this? “Extreme Team” might be effective if you’re going for kids (say, somewhere between 5-13 years old). But it strikes me as a very different tone than “Chain Reactions,” which is more clinical and serious.

    “Jake Versus the Blazing Baroness” –> I think this could use more style and say more about the plot and setting. Jake strikes me as a sort of bland name and the Blazing Baroness sounds 1940ish to me. This title fits a premise where “a schoolchild becomes an unlikely hero to fight the Nazis,” like Captain Marvel, but I don’t know if that’s what you’re going for.

    Are we talking about the story with Jake and Karnak? If so, I’m not sure the title fits the story all that well. For example…
    –The characters are adults that are a lot closer to SWAT officers than schoolboys.
    –The setting is gritty and highly sci-fi (futuristic, with aliens).
    –I don’t think that “Jake” tells us much interesting about the character or story. Over the course of the first few chapters he gets released from a prison for superpowered inmates, gets drafted into something like an elite police force, and engages in several firefights with streetgangs. You may be able to describe him better with a vocational noun or noun phrase that describes what sort of things he does over the course of the book.

  5. ekimmakon 14 Jul 2010 at 3:38 am

    I didn’t think of it like that. You’ve seen my entries on list of superpowers, right? It’s that novel. I started out with just five of the characters, and a totally different (and a lot less interesting) plot, and some of them with totally different powers. I came up with the team name then. It’s been about 3 years since then, so coming up with a new name is going to be tricky, teaching myself to use it is going to be extremely difficult.

  6. ShardReaperon 14 Jul 2010 at 6:19 am

    To answer your question B. Mac, yeah, this is the same story. The chapter refers to the guys facing off against a superpowered MMA fighter in exchange for her help. I’m still working on chapter titles (so far, I’ve thought of “Jake Versus…” and “Jake Beckett in…”). If you have any suggestions, I’d like them.

  7. B. Macon 14 Jul 2010 at 3:25 pm

    I think “Jake vs. [interesting antagonist]” is much more effective for a chapter title than the novel title. By that point, the reader will probably know (or be able to surmise) something about Jake. With “Jake vs. the Crimson Baroness,” not so much. Also, the antagonists in your chapter titles generally had more interesting/funny names than the Crimson Baroness.



    Do you have a 1-2 sentence synopsis for your work? (This article may also help). I think the synopsis would help me come up with something.

  8. Alexeaon 22 Jul 2010 at 7:04 pm

    I’m writing a trilogy. I was thinking of naming the books as follows:
    Save the Day, book one: Emerald
    Save the Day, book two: Amethyst
    Save the Day, book three: Sapphire

    What do you think?

  9. Wingson 22 Jul 2010 at 7:06 pm

    Save the Day is interesting, but why use a jewel theme? It’s not particularly informative.

    What kind of story are you trying to tell?

    – Wings

  10. Cassandraon 22 Jul 2010 at 7:11 pm

    I managed to discover this site a few days ago and have been lurking about every since. I am very impressed with what I’ve found here and hope to be hanging around a bit more. =)

    I have a YA superhero novel I’m working on that’s geared mainly towards females, 12-16. Actually, it’s a series and the first book has been finished for about a year now. But I really want to rewrite it . . . as I’m writing the second novel in the series. (Stupid, perhaps. But I’m known for multitasking when it comes to my writing.)

    Anyways, what do you think of the title: “Bolt from the Blue”? The general premise of the book is about a high school girl who doubles as the (male) superhero, Volt. However her family (who doesn’t know that she’s a super) has decided to move to the suburbs of Indiana. The first book in the series is about her coming to terms with who she is outside of a superhero, how she is handling The City’s reaction to Volt’s mysterious disappearance, and the introduction to another super within that town. She also manages to stumble upon a mystery that is making star athletes fall ill.

  11. Alexeaon 22 Jul 2010 at 7:11 pm

    Well I can’t use main character names because there are several main characters in each book, so I decided to differentiate each novel in a different way. In the world I’ve built for supers, “emerald,” “amethyst,” and “sapphire” are different eye colors that have different specific meanings of the type of super. I know it isn’t very informative, which is why I included the overall series title.

  12. Cassandraon 22 Jul 2010 at 7:25 pm

    Will each novel represent a different superhero? What is the main target audience for this story? If it’s primarily targeted towards young females, then the title may work, but I don’t know if that title would appeal to many males.

  13. Wingson 22 Jul 2010 at 7:26 pm

    I see. However, if your title only makes sense after reading the book, what do you have that will entice your reader to pick it up in the first place? Your title is one of the first things a reader will see, so it’s important to choose wisely.

    – Wings

  14. Alexeaon 22 Jul 2010 at 7:31 pm

    In each novel, the focus is a different type of superhero. It’s pretty hard to explain so I’ll just leave it at emerald means hero and sapphire means villain and amethyst is way too hard to describe. The target audience is YA both males and females. I get what you mean about the jewel thing not appealing to males, but I’m terrible at naming things. I was hoping that the title wouldn’t matter a whole lot to prospective publishers and that they would have no qualms about changing it, but I don’t know.

    As for Bolt from the Blue, I love it. Based on title alone, it’s definitely a book I would be interested in checking out.

  15. Wingson 22 Jul 2010 at 7:57 pm

    @ Cassandra – I too like Bolt from the Blue.

    @ Alexea – What is the overall plot of your story like?

    – Wings

  16. Alexeaon 22 Jul 2010 at 8:09 pm

    Hm… The first book is basically about a team of heroes and a team of villains that have to work together to complete a deal that they made. The deal is that the heroes will help the villains find the origin of their powers and discover why they were forced into a life of evil, and the villains will help the heroes to solve a string of bizarre serial murders. The hero sidekick, Aidan, and the villain sidekick, Elle, end up falling in love. Both Aidan and Elle eventually end up discovering that their emerald eyes mean they are hereditary heroes. Everyone except the Aidan solves the murder case while he is busy remembering his past, which he lost to another super’s memory tampering power. He realizes that the other heroes captured the wrong murderer, and it is actually the woman he thought was his hero. The woman confronts them and a big battle ensues. She dies. Aidan proposes to Elle in the hospital later. When Aidan meets his family, he also meets his younger sister who has sapphire eyes, which are the symbol of a hereditary villain.
    Well that’s the first book in a nutshell, anyway.

  17. B. Macon 22 Jul 2010 at 8:48 pm

    I don’t think “Save the Day” is distinct enough. I think some readers will guess that it’s a superhero story, but how will you distinguish yourself from other superhero stories?

    Generally, I think it’s more important for the book titles to be interesting and descriptive than it is for the book series. (For example, “Temeraire” would make a pretty awful individual title, but it’s an okay name for the series that includes “His Majesty’s Dragon”). With that in mind, I don’t see the gems making an effective pitch by themselves. Wings is right that they would not mean very much to prospective readers.

    What would you think about something like “Dealing with the Villain”? I think that hints at the unusually cooperative relationship between the heroes and villains. Variations on the word “flirting” keep coming to mind, probably because it suggests the romantic angle. Maybe something like “Flirting with Evil” or “Flirting with [Elle’s Supervillain Name],” if it’s clear that it’s a villainous name. (I don’t know what her super-name is, but I think a title like “Flirting with Doctor Apocalypse” sounds interesting). For a more comedic tone, maybe something like “Rule One: Never Fall for the Villain.”

    By the way: if the romantic angle is really important, I would suggest thinking about making Elle the lead rather than Aidan, because I feel that male novel readers (especially non-adults) are REALLY not keen on romance. I am woefully unknowledgeable about romance books, but the ones I’m familiar with tend to be from the lady’s POV. Noted literary scholar Dave Chappelle lays out one theory for that (caution: not safe for work).


  18. Wingson 22 Jul 2010 at 8:53 pm

    @ B. Mac – True. Most male readers aren’t going to pick up a mainly romantic work, no matter how many explosions go off in the background. 😉

    – Wings

  19. B. Macon 22 Jul 2010 at 9:02 pm

    PS: the kid in the above Dave Chappelle skit is so much better than any of the child actors in The Last Airbender it’s not even funny. “Daaaaaaaamn!”

  20. Alexeaon 22 Jul 2010 at 9:13 pm

    That’s really helpful. Thank you for the advice.
    The characters don’t have costumes or super-names. It’s much more of a supers-in-the-real-world type of thing where heroes are seen as public figures, like police officers or something, working for a superhero government division called the SHA. As for the romance, it isn’t the main focus of the book so I don’t know if I want to make the title about that aspect. I’m also afraid of making the title from a certain character’s point of view (For instance Flirting with Evil would be from Aidan’s point of view) because each chapter switches off and is told from first person by a different character. The books are very comedic, but as the trilogy progresses the tone gets darker (while still retaining the comedy).

    Does it matter to publishers if I have an amazing and creative title? I know that there is a large chance that they will change the title anyway, but will my manuscript be rejected more quickly without a catching title? Because I’m really terrible at naming things. Really terrible. I’ve been thinking of titles for almost two years with no real luck.

  21. B. Macon 22 Jul 2010 at 9:15 pm

    Hello, Cassandra. I’m not really sold on “Bolt from the Blue” because I don’t think it says enough about your story in particular. (I think that is frequently the case with titles that are preexisting expressions). It suggests that there’s something surprising going on in this story, but I think it could say more. For example, what’s the hero like? What’s the antagonist like? Conflict? Premise/setting? What’s at stake?

    I love the premise (the superhero being forced to move away because her parents did), by the way. “She also manages to stumble upon a mystery that is making star athletes fall ill.” But there haven’t been star athletes in Indiana since Joe Montana graduated! 😉

    (Well, except for the Colts and Lou Holtz’s 1988 championship team, but those days are long behind us in South Bend).

  22. B. Macon 22 Jul 2010 at 9:36 pm

    “I know that there is a large chance that they will change the title anyway, but will my manuscript be rejected more quickly without a catching title? Because I’m really terrible at naming things. Really terrible. I’ve been thinking of titles for almost two years with no real luck.”

    A strong title would certainly help. With a higher-than-99% rejection rate across the industry, publishers don’t need much reason to skip to the next manuscript.

    Having said that, works with godawful titles get published every day, albeit not so often by first-time authors. (The quality of the title matters more to new authors because they usually rely more on impulse buys from bookstore customers than their established audience or name recognition).

    In your case, I’d recommend finishing the manuscript. If you’d like, I can read through the manuscript and suggest a few.

  23. Alexeaon 22 Jul 2010 at 9:43 pm

    Okay. I’d actually really like that. I’m just doing some last edits on a few chapters, then I’ll contact you about reading it. Thank you very much.

  24. B. Macon 22 Jul 2010 at 9:43 pm

    Okay. I can be reached at superheronation-at-gmail-dot-com.

  25. Alexeaon 22 Jul 2010 at 9:49 pm

    Thank you! I probably won’t be finished editing for the next few weeks, though.

  26. B. Macon 22 Jul 2010 at 9:51 pm

    Sounds good. I’m here for the long-term.

  27. Cassandraon 22 Jul 2010 at 10:07 pm

    Ha hah! I’d like to think that Indiana can hold it’s own in athletics.

    I chose the title a long time ago and it kind of just stuck. (Also, every since that movie “Bolt” came out, I’ve been afraid that even her super name: Volt is too similar, but I can’t will myself to change that just yet.) It mostly has to do with her powers, being as they are of the electrical sort. I titled the second book: A Lasting Storm, keeping with the weather with titles. I envy people who come across them naturally; I def. over-think names and titles both.

    So far as titles go, I don’t usually like ones that have to do with locations or using a person’s name. I feel kind of cheesy enough with the word “blue” in the title I currently have, seeing as the MC dyed her hair blue in her first real act of teenaged rebellion when her parents told her she had to move.

    The hero tends to have an overly-arrogant view of herself and an overly-high view on justice. She also tends to hold a bit of a double-standard and thinks that because she’s a super, she’s superior. Throughout the book, though, she begins to change after experiencing a life outside of being a super (which is all her life consisted of before).

    There is also family conflict as she learns to relate to her mother, who didn’t seem to care about her when she was young, and deals with her father who still would rather ignore her. She has some relationship issues; particularly dealing with one guy who she likes, but doesn’t feel like she can share her secret to. And another who is a super, so she can relate to him in a way she’s never related to any other person before.

    As I said before, the major conflict in the story has to do with athletics mysteriously falling ill. Adaline (the hero) believes that her father’s company has something to do with the illnesses (and no, this isn’t one of those: your father is secretly evil stories); whereas, the other super in town thinks she’s making it all up in her head because she thinks she’ll be able to go back to The City if the company turns out to be evil.

    That basically sums up what I consider to be the important aspects of this tale.

  28. Cassandraon 22 Jul 2010 at 10:11 pm

    The Dave Chappelle skit was horribly hilarious.

    Alexea, I think the premise of your story sounds really amazing. It sounds like something I would enjoy reading. Although also a bit intimidating to write, because it takes a lot of skill to pull off a story with multiple main characters and still have the readers love and relate to each of them enough to be committed to the series.

  29. Cassandraon 22 Jul 2010 at 10:17 pm

    Oh! A title I had thought of a long time ago was: Superhero in the Suburbs. But I thought that was a bit too kitschy.

  30. Alexeaon 22 Jul 2010 at 10:30 pm

    As does yours, Cassandra. Yours sounds like it would be a really fun read! But I’m a sucker for superhero anything. If you wanted to stay with the Bolt from the Blue title, have you considered making it Volt from the Blue? I think that would be really cool.

    Yeah, the first draft I wrote was all plot no characters, but since then I’ve learned a lot more about writing and I think the reader should be able to love and relate to the main characters. I really over-emphasize their unique personalities. Or I tried to, anyway. It’s really interesting how characters can get away from you, isn’t it? I love that about writing. Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like my story actually happened to these people and I’m just the scribe.
    Maybe I’m crazy.

  31. B. Macon 22 Jul 2010 at 11:51 pm

    “A title I had thought of a long time ago was: Superhero in the Suburbs.”

    I think that’s a really good start, but it may help to tweak it to something like “The [NOUN PHRASE] of a Suburban Superhero.” For example, The Woes of a Suburban Superhero.

    Or maybe something like “[Plot phrase] and Other Woes of a Suburban Superhero.”

  32. Cassandraon 23 Jul 2010 at 5:42 am

    I like the phrase “Suburban Superhero” and am trying to think of a way to fit that into a title. Or at the very least, making it into a chapter title.

    What do you think about this title? How to Stay Sane in the Event of a Suburban Move
    Subtitle (smaller print): And Other Lessons Learned from a Teenage Superhero

    It gives setting, basic plot premise, main character, and relates it as being a YA novel. However, I’m afraid that it’s too wordy for a cover.

  33. B. Macon 23 Jul 2010 at 10:51 am

    I agree it’s probably too wordy. I think it could also be a bit more stylish– details might help. For example, if the Lessons Learned are important enough to mention, what are some of the lessons she learns? Pretty much every new superhero learns something, so I think it would help to distinguish your story in that regard. I think it would help establish the character’s development arc.

    Some common development arcs that come to mind include…
    Immaturity -> maturity
    Idealism -> cynicism (or naive -> practical, if the reader is meant to approve)
    Irresponsibility -> selflessness (“with great powers comes great responsibility”)
    Irresponsibility -> reliability
    Isolation -> social success (or vice versa)–preferably something about the character changes that makes him more/less socially integrated.

  34. Salazarison 21 Aug 2011 at 2:52 pm

    What do you think “The Deepening Space” suggests?

  35. B. Mac (Brian McKenzie)on 21 Aug 2011 at 4:03 pm

    When I hear “The Deepening Space,” I’m not really sure what’s going on. If I had to guess, I’d say it was some sort of space opera (like a play on “deep space”).

  36. Salazarison 21 Aug 2011 at 5:27 pm

    Hmhmh yeah it was a play on deep space, but ironic because its a cave setting. It is a space that is “deepening” over time.

    Im really bad at titling, gonna go read some more articles haha

  37. Lilon 16 Aug 2012 at 12:34 pm

    Hi, I’m currently writing a story and I’m thinking about sending it to a publisher. (Sorry for all mistakes, I’m usually writing in German, but your tips are very helpful!)
    I wanted to name my story “once blue planet”, but I’m not sure anymore. Titles are harder to chose than expected.

    The story takes place on earth about 200 years in the future. There is only one “real” city left, because life has become nearly impossible on the planet. This city suffers under a terrible dictatorship of a government, authorized by the council of galaxies. (Not sure how to translate everything to English.)
    The story is about a woman, grown up in this city, who gets the chance to escape from earth. But she can’t return and so tries everything to save her family and city, freeing it from the dictatorship.

    That sounds a little bit mary-sue by now, but I think her character and the actual storyline prevent this from happening.

    As a newbie, I would really appreciate your help. I don’t expect the story to be published, but it’s always worth a try.

  38. ColdWindon 16 Aug 2012 at 6:46 pm

    Try “The only city left”? “once blue planet” sounds terribly awkward. The story itself sounds very promising though.

  39. B. McKenzieon 16 Aug 2012 at 8:20 pm

    Vielleicht “Die Letzte Stadt”? (Nun, “The Last City.” Wie würden Sie das auf Deutsch wiedergeben?)

    (I apologize for any translation errors–my German is woeful).

  40. Lilon 17 Aug 2012 at 9:51 am

    thanks everyone, this really helps. Mentioning the city itself in the title is a pretty good idea… I didn’t think of that.
    @McKenzie: your translation is right and so is your german, as far as I can see. And I really like that one, it’s my favourite idea by now, thank you!

  41. Pandoraon 27 Aug 2012 at 6:50 pm

    Would the Nyx Resistance be a good title for a story about the US disbanding, leaving every city to control itself, and a group of teenagers who live in one city, now completely controlled by a mob? They call themselves the Nyx Resistance…

  42. B. McKenzieon 27 Aug 2012 at 9:48 pm

    The title’s fine, but I think the post-apocalyptic young adult niche is getting a bit crowded… I’d recommend making sure that the characters and conflicts feel unique, particularly compared to (say) Hunger Games and its many knockoffs.

  43. Fluffmongeron 27 Aug 2012 at 11:45 pm

    @Lil, is your story in English or German? This will most likely influence how you title it, as I know the good ol’ USA and Deutschland are rather different.

    @Anyone and everyone, For prime examples of bad titles, just go to the romance aisle of your local bookstore. Seriously.

  44. Danielon 01 Oct 2012 at 6:20 pm

    I’m thinking of a series, three novel to begin with.
    1: Heroes, The Black Highlight
    2: Heroes, The Nano Technology
    3: Heroes, The Destruction
    I’m sorry for my bad English, I’m not from America, neither from the U.K.

    The story is about a young man, who looks to be at least in his late teenagers, getting arrested by the NYPD, and from there tells his story, starting over ten years before he got to the Police Department. They are from 2019, but he tells the story from 2005 and upwards, giving them piece by piece why he isn’t the villain. The last book, of course, is about the destruction of the last fight he was in.
    This boy is no genius. He is fit, he played American footbal (?) at school, and he was also in the chess club, but never won any match. He’s got bright friends, though.

  45. B. McKenzieon 01 Oct 2012 at 7:24 pm

    Hello, Daniel.

    –I would recommend renaming the series to something more distinct. There may also be copyright issues given that there was a major TV franchise of the same name.

    –I’d recommend more distinct book titles. For example, instead of The Destruction, maybe something like [Unusual Modifier] Destruction. For example, one title I really liked recently was Play Dead, because playing and dead contrast emotionally. (Also, U.S. football refs halt the game by calling plays “dead,” and it is a story about a football team of zombies, so there’s some wordplay there). Instead of The Nanotechnology, which I think only tells us that it’s a sci-fi story, I’d recommend throwing in a modifier which hints at what’s at stake or develops a character or accomplishes something else which makes readers interested. For example, I have one comic book issue tentatively titled Chemical Enlightenment because I think it does a better job hinting at the villain’s goals and methods than, say, something like The Chemistry would.

    –May I ask why you chose an American setting and an exceptionally American sport if you are not an American? (It’s an interesting choice, but if you’re not comfortable enough with football to spell it comfortably, it might be difficult to incorporate any football into the plot naturally).

    –The premise sort of reminds me of a superpowered The Usual Suspects, which could be interesting (although I think the premise will cause the story to hinge more on drama/suspense than on action).

  46. Blackscaron 10 Feb 2013 at 10:22 pm

    I titled my WIP novel ‘Shades of Black and White’. Opinions, please? 🙂

  47. B. McKenzieon 10 Feb 2013 at 11:06 pm

    “I titled my novel ‘Shades of Black and White.'”

    1) It sounds a lot like “Fifty Shades of Gray” or “A Million Shades of Gray.” I’d assume it’s a romance about a naif going after a mysterious and probably creepy older guy.

    2) It could be more distinctive to your story. For example, if your story is about superheroes, it’d probably be really helpful to suggest as much, preferably establishing something which separates your story from other superhero stories. For example, I think “Captain Freedom: A Superhero’s Search for Truth, Justice, and the Celebrity He So Richly Deserves” and “Soon I Will Be Invincible” and “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay” do a really good job establishing what kind of superhero story they are.

    3) I think it’d be helpful to incorporate more about the main character, the main character’s goal, and/or what’s at stake.

    4) In terms of establishing a bleak and/or morally conflicted plot, I think the imagery could be more interesting. For example, I really like “The Silence of the Lambs” and “When the Wind Blows.”

  48. Blackscaron 11 Feb 2013 at 1:57 am

    @ B. McKenzie

    Ah, you’re probably right.

    However, I began writing my novel a few years ago, and titled it before ’50 Shades’ was published.
    I’ll try to create a new title, but unfortunately, I’m a bit low on ideas. Any suggestions?

  49. Sakitaon 16 Apr 2013 at 11:14 am

    What do you think about the title: on the path of peace, there lies blood? (roughly translated into english)

  50. FVE-Manon 18 Apr 2013 at 10:09 pm

    Sakita: I think “On the Path of Peace Lies Blood” or “Blood on the Path of Peace” would sound better as an English title, but if the title won’t be in English, you’d be better off asking someone who speaks the language that the title is in.

  51. B. McKenzieon 18 Apr 2013 at 11:49 pm

    Yeah, I’d recommend speaking to a French author, Sakita. I wouldn’t be much help when it comes to phrasing a title in French. I may be able to help with concepts, though. Whether the title is in French or English, I’m not sure that a bloody path to peace distinguishes your story very well. It may help to come up with a title which indicates something unusual and interesting about the protagonist, the plot, and/or premise.

    If I had to do a minor rephrase of the title in English, “The Path to Peace is Slick With Blood” comes to mind.

  52. Carlon 31 Dec 2014 at 9:13 pm

    How’s this for a title:

    Justice Don’t Grow On Trees, But Money Does.

  53. B. McKenzieon 02 Jan 2015 at 6:55 am

    “Justice Don’t Grow On Trees, But Money Does.” I would suggest shortening this to Justice Don’t Grow on Trees. That feels less cute to me.

  54. catswoodsriveron 22 Jan 2016 at 7:08 pm

    Here’s my current title: The Shapeshifter
    Alternate title: The Creator’s Curse
    Table of contents:
    A Curse Enacted
    Of Sisters and Daemons
    The Fairy Unseen
    Three Worlds, One Daemon
    An Improper Sacrifice
    Violet
    Torn
    The Devil’s Son (Not!)
    Kitten Special-Ops
    Out of it, Briefly
    Subconscious
    Switched
    Holding Sparks
    Araby
    World War Three
    Spark
    It Wasn’t Global Warming
    Glossary

    The glossary has (made up) words and their definitions. It is alphabetized. I was thinking of explaining Jasmine’s internal structure and other minute differences between her and humans (like she has nuclei in her red blood cells, and they shapeshift into platelets and white blood cells when needed), but I decided that I can sneak those details into the story.

    Example from Glossary:

    skeleton shield-like a focus, but made of two canes of bamboo crossed, it channels magic into a square shield shape with up to four “blades”, spears of magic, one on each end of the skeleton shield

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