Hatrack River
Home   |   About Orson Scott Card   |   News & Reviews   |   OSC Library   |   Forums   |   Contact   |   Links
Research Area   |   Writing Lessons   |   Writers Workshops   |   OSC at SVU   |   Calendar   |   Store
E-mail this page
Hatrack River Writers Workshop Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Fragments and Feedback for Books » Titles (MAGE STORM)

   
Author Topic: Titles (MAGE STORM)
Meredith
Member
Member # 8368

 - posted      Profile for Meredith   Email Meredith         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
So, MAGE STORM made it in as a first alternate in Pitch Wars. I've just begun to get feedback from my mentor, with approximately two weeks until the alternate round in front of agents. (I consider this good training for meeting deadlines someday.)

Unfortunately, one of the recommendation is to change the title. This has been "MAGE STORM" so long that it's hard for me to even think of another title.

The original short story version (for one of the challenges here a few years ago) was at first called "Mage Cinders" and later "Infected with Magic", which is the title under which it got an Honorable Mention in WotF.

It's about a boy who gets infected with magic during a mage storm and then has to find some way to learn how to cope with this magic before it kills him.

Anybody have any ideas?

Posts: 3899 | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Denevius
Member
Member # 9682

 - posted      Profile for Denevius   Email Denevius         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Did they give a apecific reason the original title doesn't work?
Posts: 730 | Registered: Nov 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
wetwilly
Member
Member # 1818

 - posted      Profile for wetwilly   Email wetwilly         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Does the magical infection have a name? Like a disease name? I don't know, Necromicosis or something like that. Title the story the name of the disease?
Posts: 1222 | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Meredith
Member
Member # 8368

 - posted      Profile for Meredith   Email Meredith         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by wetwilly:
Does the magical infection have a name? Like a disease name? I don't know, Necromicosis or something like that. Title the story the name of the disease?

Well, it doesn't now. But that's definitely a thought. [Smile]
Posts: 3899 | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
Administrator
Member # 59

 - posted      Profile for Kathleen Dalton Woodbury   Email Kathleen Dalton Woodbury         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
What's wrong with INFECTED WITH MAGIC? (I kind of like titles that tell you something of what the story is about.)
Posts: 7995 | Registered: A Long Time Ago!  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Meredith
Member
Member # 8368

 - posted      Profile for Meredith   Email Meredith         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Kathleen Dalton Woodbury:
What's wrong with INFECTED WITH MAGIC? (I kind of like titles that tell you something of what the story is about.)

Well, that one did get an Honorable Mention, so worth considering.

Also, I should have mentioned that this is a middle grade novel.

Posts: 3899 | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
Administrator
Member # 59

 - posted      Profile for Kathleen Dalton Woodbury   Email Kathleen Dalton Woodbury         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I would think that INFECTED WITH MAGIC would be a great middle grade novel title. It poses a very hook-like question that I think would appeal to that age.
Posts: 7995 | Registered: A Long Time Ago!  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
History
Member
Member # 9213

 - posted      Profile for History   Email History         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Kathleen Dalton Woodbury:
I would think that INFECTED WITH MAGIC would be a great middle grade novel title. It poses a very hook-like question that I think would appeal to that age.

I agree wholeheartedly.
Posts: 1415 | Registered: Aug 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Meredith
Member
Member # 8368

 - posted      Profile for Meredith   Email Meredith         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Looks like it's either INFECTED WITH MAGIC or maybe THE MAGE DISEASE.

Thanks everyone.

Posts: 3899 | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Denevius
Member
Member # 9682

 - posted      Profile for Denevius   Email Denevius         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, the reason why I asked is because "Mage Storm" is a nice, economical title that's easy to remember, easy to say, and has a bit of mystery to it.

While the titles that were suggested aren't bad, they are a bit of a mouthful.

Posts: 730 | Registered: Nov 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Meredith
Member
Member # 8368

 - posted      Profile for Meredith   Email Meredith         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Denevius:
Well, the reason why I asked is because "Mage Storm" is a nice, economical title that's easy to remember, easy to say, and has a bit of mystery to it.

While the titles that were suggested aren't bad, they are a bit of a mouthful.

Easy to remember. [Smile]

I like MAGE STORM, myself. My mentor, for some reason, keeps turning it into MAGE WARS, which is not what the story is about at all. True, there was a Great Mage War in the historical background of the story. But that's not this story.

Posts: 3899 | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Denevius
Member
Member # 9682

 - posted      Profile for Denevius   Email Denevius         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
My mentor, for some reason, keeps turning it into MAGE WARS, which is not what the story is about at all.
This is why I compare this aspect of the business to writing a resume. 'Wars' implies conflict and narrative tension. The book may not be about that, but that title may help it sale. And as long as it's not an outright fabrication, then it should be fine.
Posts: 730 | Registered: Nov 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
extrinsic
Member
Member # 8019

 - posted      Profile for extrinsic   Email extrinsic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
What about Magic Infection? Magic Contagion? Or Enchantment for Magic? Maybe Wizard instead?

Magic Infection
Magic Contagion
Enchantment Infection: maybe too sophisticated for middle grade
Enchantment Contagion: likewise
Wizard Infection
Wizard Contagion
Sorcerer Infection
Sorcerer Contagion

I like "Mage" generally, too--Mage Contagion. "Storm" gives me pause. Perhaps naming the protagonist in the title might be an artful strategy. Rell [Cordwainer] and the Mage Contagion? A cordwainer is a leather shoemaker. Just offered for an intriguing surname as I don't recall Rell's.

[ January 11, 2014, 02:06 PM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

Posts: 3399 | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
Administrator
Member # 59

 - posted      Profile for Kathleen Dalton Woodbury   Email Kathleen Dalton Woodbury         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
AFTER THE MAGE WARS might work.

I like THE MAGE DISEASE, by the way.

Posts: 7995 | Registered: A Long Time Ago!  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
shimiqua
Member
Member # 7760

 - posted      Profile for shimiqua   Email shimiqua         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I like keeping with the word magic over mage.

Mage is semi-limiting, not everyone knows what it is or means, while magic itself is simpler. You don't want to over-classify yourself before you get to the audience.

You might want to play with elements of storm combined with magic, like Winds of Magic, or Rumblings of Thunder and Magic. Combine the imagery of a storm with a clear genre classifying element.

I also suggest writing down five things that represent what's awesome and different about your story. Don't overthink it, just find a sentence you like, or an element of the theme, or a cool name or slang you invented, and then play with it.

That can also be a path to awesome.

Posts: 1184 | Registered: Jan 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MattLeo
Member
Member # 9331

 - posted      Profile for MattLeo   Email MattLeo         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I don't like titles that are too tortuously clever or esoteric sounding. 'MAGE STORM' seems about right to me, although 'MAGE' may be a bit of obscure vocabulary for some (I'm a very poor judge of this). If so, maybe 'MAGIC STORM', or perhaps less ambiguously, 'A STORM OF MAGIC'. Or if you wanted to be cleverly topical with the title (which I don't recommend): AN INCONVENIENT GIFT.

Otherwise you have to comb your story for images and themes. The problem with this story is that Rell's basic challenge is learning to control his magic, which is kind of an abstract point. He's not after some magical MacGuffin you could name the story after. Maybe if the lost school of magic had a suitably magical sounding name (e.g. "The Castle of Spells" -- although that's not the nature of magic in the story).

Titles seem to me to be a topic ripe for overanalysis. Titles don't seem obey any hard and fast rules other than they identify the story within its market and try not to put off any potential readers.

[ January 13, 2014, 06:51 PM: Message edited by: MattLeo ]

Posts: 1292 | Registered: Dec 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
kmsf
Member
Member # 9905

 - posted      Profile for kmsf   Email kmsf         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It seems to me some of the best titles are simply the character's name, or convey the end state of the character, or the looming obstacle between the MC and their goal.

"Escape from..."
"Heart of Darkness"
"Through..."
"Run..."

My kids completely schooled me last week when they wrote a book entitled "Cheesy the Brave". So, who couldn't make a reasonable guess what that's about? My kids show me how to not over-analyze [Smile]

Posts: 118 | Registered: Aug 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Meredith
Member
Member # 8368

 - posted      Profile for Meredith   Email Meredith         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Eh. I hate doing titles.

My mentor's suggestions:

THE FALSE MAGE (in my opinion, too much like THE FALSE PRINCE (which, btw, I hated.))

THE MAGE STORM CURSE (Interesting. Also interesting that she thought infection and disease sounded too much like horror, but curse doesn't.)

THE CINDER MAGELiING (If you think mage won't be immediately understood, what about mageling (which I made up for the story)?)

FALSE MAGE, TRUE MAGE (Hmm.)

A MAGE BEGUN (No. Just, no.)

BY THE MAGE'S GLOW (Don't think so.)

A MAGELING BLUE (There's that mageling thing again.)

THE MAGE STORM'S KISS (Wrong image, especially for what is essentially a boy book, ages about 10 - 12.)

TOUCH OF THE MAGE STORM (Don't see why this is better than the simpler MAGE STORM.)

THE MAGE STORM'S TOUCH (See above.)

Posts: 3899 | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Meredith
Member
Member # 8368

 - posted      Profile for Meredith   Email Meredith         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
APPRENTICE MAGE?

Or MAGE'S APPRENTICE?

A title I considered for another story: MAGIC'S APPRENTICE?

Posts: 3899 | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
kmsf
Member
Member # 9905

 - posted      Profile for kmsf   Email kmsf         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I like "Rell".

Make the one-liner mage pitch on the cover. Otherwise, why should your mage story be more interesting than someone else's? Rell makes the story. He's what it's about. My two cents [Smile]

Posts: 118 | Registered: Aug 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MattLeo
Member
Member # 9331

 - posted      Profile for MattLeo   Email MattLeo         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I think your mentor has, in this one instance, left the rails. As I said titles are easily overanalyzed; there's only so much you can expect a title to do. igt's far easier to put someone off with a title than it is to intrigue them.

So I wouldn't worry about hooking a reader with a title unless such a title falls into your lap. Such things are a gift of the subconscious. Your mentor's suggestions strike *me* as trying to hard, which I find off-putting.

There's nothing wrong with "Mage Storm", other than the fact that a lot of people might not know what a "mage" is. "Rell" is a workable title too. Keep things simple, is my opinion.

Posts: 1292 | Registered: Dec 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Meredith
Member
Member # 8368

 - posted      Profile for Meredith   Email Meredith         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by MattLeo:
I think your mentor has, in this one instance, left the rails. As I said titles are easily overanalyzed; there's only so much you can expect a title to do. igt's far easier to put someone off with a title than it is to intrigue them.

So I wouldn't worry about hooking a reader with a title unless such a title falls into your lap. Such things are a gift of the subconscious. Your mentor's suggestions strike *me* as trying to hard, which I find off-putting.

There's nothing wrong with "Mage Storm", other than the fact that a lot of people might not know what a "mage" is. "Rell" is a workable title too. Keep things simple, is my opinion.

Eh. I'm trying to distract myself because I can't concentrate on anything else right now. Play along, okay?
Posts: 3899 | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
kmsf
Member
Member # 9905

 - posted      Profile for kmsf   Email kmsf         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
If distraction is what you're after... hmmm... I must confess I usually watch an episode of Pearlie or something on ytbe. Hey, I'm the father of two girls.
Posts: 118 | Registered: Aug 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Meredith
Member
Member # 8368

 - posted      Profile for Meredith   Email Meredith         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by kmsf:
If distraction is what you're after... hmmm... I must confess I usually watch an episode of Pearlie or something on ytbe. Hey, I'm the father of two girls.

Must be something that helps me not think about Mom. Sorry. Tearing up again.

In the interest of not being cryptic. My mother died Monday night after long illness (Alzheimer's) but unexpectedly. She ate normally (for her) at 4:00, started that horrible breathing around 7:00 and was gone at 9:00.

Since I can't get much real work done, playing with titles helps to distract a little. It might even result in a good new title.

Posts: 3899 | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
extrinsic
Member
Member # 8019

 - posted      Profile for extrinsic   Email extrinsic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Condolences on you mother's passing into grace.

Titles in my estimation should evoke the whole in mysterious ways. A working title may often suffice for shopping a work around to agents and publishers, allowing that the title might change. For self-publishing, though, a title is the writer's prerrogative.

A title should also be memorable, and in indirect ways say what the story is about, perhaps thematically, but certainly connected to the story's emphases, like Milieu, Idea, Character, and Event. Milieu-wise a magical milieu; idea, a coming of age; character, Rell; event, Rell's becomig a great mage. A coming of age narrative is invariably a personal journey quest, hence a character emphasis. Yet in a magic milieu with comparable emphasis and event emphasis as well. The idea of Rell's coming of age I expect does not need to be foregrounded. For example, Rell and The Magic Cinder Storm. Or Infection or Contagion.

I don't much like any of those for the targeted audience age though. Rell's infection by magic is at first a complication that grows into a conquest then an accomplishment. In life very few if any contagious sicknesses follow that route. Ambition maybe, perhaps romance, feel like sicknesses at first then follow up into failure or success. Something off the so-far beaten path might serve, say, Rell and the Magic Cinder Gambit. Gambit, though, is still too sophisticated for the age range. Rell and the Magic Cinders by itself doesn't say what the magic cinders mean to the whole. Rell and the Magic Cinder Plagues gets awful darn close. What else might serve that similarly says dangerous mage storms are common place? Rell and the Magic Cinder Cyclones? Joining somehow Plagues and Cyclones as a title would entice me to read such a novel, be memorable, and evoke mystery.

Posts: 3399 | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
kmsf
Member
Member # 9905

 - posted      Profile for kmsf   Email kmsf         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
My condolences Meredith. I'll pray for her and you.
Posts: 118 | Registered: Aug 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
Administrator
Member # 59

 - posted      Profile for Kathleen Dalton Woodbury   Email Kathleen Dalton Woodbury         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I've heard that horrible breathing, Meredith. It really is horrible. At least now you know what they mean when they say "death rattle."

Please accept my sympathy and condolences.

And did I miss MAGIC STORM as a possible title? I don't recall seeing it, and it may work better than MAGE STORM.

<shrug>

Posts: 7995 | Registered: A Long Time Ago!  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Hatrack River Home Page

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.


Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2