When Titles Simply Don’t Work

Okay.  This one does work.

Okay. This one does work.

I tend to create titles for my books while I’m outlining.  It gives me focus even if they aren’t the ones I use when I get to the end.  For example, Legends of Windemere: Prodigy of Rainbow Tower used to be The Gauntlet.  Unfortunately, this becomes a probably for books that get written down the line.  Last weekend you kind of saw this with Monster ‘X’ or Monster ‘???’.  I need to work on this, but there are three books that are more urgent and a pain in the rump.

Realm of the Night

This is Clyde’s series and where the vampires of Windemere are explored.  These creatures get a big introduction in The Compass Key, but it’s Book 9 that they really take a center stage in events.  Not that they’re major players in Legends of Windemere.  If you’ve read any of the vampire-based posts here then you know that they’re something else.  In fact, they’re not really nocturnal.  The Dawn Fangs aka New World Vampires can operate in sunlight and aren’t bloodthirsty monsters that seek to dominate their lunch . . . usually.  This series looks at the rise of these more powerful and human vampires and how they did a number on their predecessors.

Though, can you really call a series ‘Realm of the Night’ when the characters are operating during the day?  I’ve been calling it this since college (15 years?) and it’s hard to think of it as anything else.  ‘Realm of the Dawn Fangs’?  I would go with ‘rise’ instead of ‘realm’, but that sounds like its’ been done.

Legends of Windemere: Heart of Fire, Heart of Steel

This would be Book . . . 11.  I think.  Anyway, it sounds a lot like a romance than a fantasy adventure.  Various love plots do come to a head here.  Yet, this keeps bugging me compared to Curse of the Dark Wind, Sleeper of the Wildwood Fugue, and Family of the Tri-Rune.  The original was more obvious about what’s going on, but this is a storyline that is kind of obvious from the beginning.  Maybe.  Haven’t really decided on the finale.  Either way, I really wonder if there’s a better name.  I’ve read over the outline and still nothing comes.  ‘A Flame-Kissed Heart’?  ‘Fire & . . . I got nothing.

Legends of Windemere: Age of Heroes

The grand finale of the series has a weak title.  It had a better one, but I lost it when the hard drive died.  ‘Return of the Baron’?  ‘Rise of the Time Lost Warlord’?  ‘Prophecy’s End’?

Cover Art

While I’m at it, what do people think about cover art focusing on a character that isn’t the focal point?  For example, a villain taking the cover while he/she has a side story that still comes to a head.  The reason this problem exists is because I only have 6-7 main heroes to give covers to without repeating.  4 of them have already been used.  This means I have to use villains like The Lich, Trinity, and Stephen.  Also a few supporting characters too.  This means the remaining 3 heroes need to be used carefully.  So, what would you think if a story that focuses on say Delvin has Stephen on the cover?

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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22 Responses to When Titles Simply Don’t Work

  1. For the last book, to bookend (ha) the series … End of a Hero?

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  2. If characters are your series theme, then use any of them that appear in the relevant book, or show them in different poses Charles 😀

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    • So as long as they’re in the book, it should be fine. Got it. The poses poses a problem if one character gets more cover time than the others. Don’t want to play favorites. 😀

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      • If you have more books than characters you’ll be in trouble lol, so use bit players in your books, preferably villains (always interesting) 😀

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      • Well, the 5th book was a villain. I think my concern is only when I use the bit player. Some people have stated such a thing could be misleading. Yet, part of the cover plans is to get a ‘painting’ of each of the major heroes, villains, and helpers. At least as many of them as I can get. I have some time before this really comes to a head.

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  3. I like the cover to reflect the story. Also, whatever you decide seems to be working.

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  4. elainecanham says:

    I used to like reading those detective stories that just have a load of stuff on the front cover; you know; a gun, a pearl necklace, a passport and a bloody dagger…and no people at all. Maybe you could have the outline of a tower against a darkening sky, or the shadow of something really creepy. I do think it’s misleading to have a bit player on the front cover. But if you’ve already planned the paintings, then I suppose you have to be consistent. That didn’t really help, did it? Sorry.

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    • Fantasy doesn’t typically have the non-character, loads of stuff things. It’s either a landscape, a character, or a symbol. Seems every genre has a cover tradition. You do make a good point that since I’ve already done the paintings for the first few books, it would seem odd to suddenly change that and go back later. All of the characters that get covers are plot essential in either a hero or villain capacity. Just the one I have planned for Book 9 is more in the background until the grand finale.

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  5. L. Marie says:

    Hmm. You’ve posed some interesting questions. In re the vampire series, I see what you mean. If they operate during the day, realm of the night doesn’t seem to fit. Why not just call the series what they are: the Dawn Fangs. Day of the Dawn Fangs? New World Vampires?

    As for covers, I can’t help thinking of the Wheel of Time covers. See here: http://www.dragonmount.com/Books/ebook_covers_tor.php
    I think you can use secondary characters on covers occasionally.

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    • Day of the Dawn Fangs and New World Vampires sounded kind of corny or dull when I tried them before. I was thinking ‘Rise of the Dawn Fangs’, but everything seems to be rising in books and movies these days. I had one idea of calling it ‘The Fang War’ or ‘War of the Fangs’ since it’s about the vampire civil war.

      Funny that I never really looked at all of those covers before.

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  6. But How to Avoid Huge Icebergs has a totally different meaning…

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  7. good post. Personally, I don’t think it matters if someone else has the same title as you when the title fits the book, especially when a series like yours has the precursor ‘brand’. No one else will have the title ‘Legends of Windermere: Realm of the Night etc’. Your brand makes it exclusive to you and is recognized as your own. I don’t think it matters that you re-use a hero for a cover either, it works for other brands in the genre and your readers can identify with it (example: ‘look, the new Windermere book has a cool pose of Luke calindor biting a vampire on the ass’ I jest of course, but you get my inkling). You do get me (and I am sure, others) thinking more of titles with this, and it is right to have a rethink, but don’t get caught up second guessing yourself, go with your instincts. Things I wrote or thought up in my teens can and have been improved upon but the main structure and names/titles remain relatively untouched. Good luck with your other titles 🙂

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    • ‘Realm of the Night’ will actually be another series, so it won’t have ‘Legends of Windemere’ attached to it. The world will be the same, but it’s a totally different story. It also simply doesn’t fit since all of the vampires are some form of daywalker. They prefer the night since that’s when they’re strongest, but they can somewhat function in the day. The Dawn Fangs aren’t hampered by the sun in any way, so they’re even worse for the title.

      This is part of the improvement stage. In regards to the ‘Legends of Windemere’ finale, I had a better title way back, but it was in a file that I lost when my hard drive died in June. That event seems to have cost me more than I realized.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. … Is that a real book? How to Avoid Huge Ships? I can’t believe there’s a need for such a book.

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    • I’m really not sure if it’s a real book or not. There’s an Amazon site for it with ridiculous reviews, which is what made it Internet Famous. Yet the Paperback is priced at $182. I really do wonder about it now.

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  9. Pingback: Changelings on Tour: Charles Yallowitz | The D/A Dialogues

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