A Writing Journey

Posts tagged ‘titles’

Quest for Salvation

Title are hard to come up with. During college, I hated titling my papers. I always ended up titling them something really simple that had practically no thought behind it. See, I always wanted to have those really clever titles that the professors always remembered – but if I cam up with one I replaced it before I had to turn the paper in because I didn’t want to take the risk of being criticized for it. (That seems foolish now, since I want to be published. I will have to face a lot of criticism, I’m sure, and from people who won’t worry about hurting my feelings.)

Titling my stories has been just as hard. Most of my unfinished (or very bad) stories have simplistic titles – like the kind you would find on a Dr. Seuss book but without the rhyming. When I’ve thought about the title for the story I am working on now, I wonder how I could possibly sum it up in a few spoiler-free words, how I could come up with a title that isn’t too full of itself (or make people think I’m full of myself) and catches people’s attention.

In an early post (the first excerpt that I posted) I called the story “Dragon Spirit.” I knew then that the title didn’t fit, but I went with it anyway. Since I’ve finished editing this draft and started the next round of editing, I’ve been worrying about the title. And so I’ve gone back to the original title, the one that at least gives a hint at what the book is about. “Quest for Salvation” was the first title I came up with, back when I was writing my very first draft during sophomore and junior years of college. Maybe it’s a simplistic title, but the more I think about it, the more I realize that it has deeper meaning than saying that the characters are going on a quest to find Salvation* (Salvation being what they call a mythical object that is supposed to save them).

So that was the long way to tell you that I am, unless I think of something better, titling my story “Quest for Salvation.”

What do you think about titling your work? Is it an adventure or would you rather leave it until the very end and hope it works?

Take care, fellow travelers.

*I always hated in English classes when teachers/professors went into detail about why titles are significant, which is part of the reason I didn’t go into the “deeper meaning.” The other part is, of course, that you haven’t read the book and any discussion on the deeper meaning would, in fact, be meaningless. (Also, I am always afraid of giving away spoilers – I’ve mentioned that a few times before.) But if you are interested, let me know and I will post about it sometime.

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The Story

First things first: this novel does not yet have a set title. I keep going back and forth between “Quest for Salvation” and “Dragon Spirit.” Each has its merits, each has its downfalls. So I’m sorry that I keep saying things like the story and my manuscript. But I figure I still have time to choose a title, so I am in no rush.

Now, maybe you are thinking since I’m spending so much time talking about the Ibvailyn Empire that is where the story takes place. Alas, it is not (at least not this one). However, it is where my main characters are from, which is why I have spent so much time developing it. The characters need a strong base to propel them out into the World. And, the Empire is my favorite of the places I have created.

What is my story about? Well, it’s about a group of travelers going on a voyage to find an artifact that will save the Empire. I am reluctant to say more because I don’t want to give spoilers (which I have a really bad habit of doing – I always accidentally ruin a plot twist when my mom is reading a book I lent her…). Suffice to say that things go wrong and the main characters get swept up in events that threaten to ruin their chances of finding the object (it would be a pretty dull story otherwise).

When I finish up my editing (four chapters to go!) I will start writing synopses like you see on the back of books and I’ll probably post a few here. In the meantime, I will post some more about the Empire, and even some about other nations/regions of the World.

Take care, fellow travelers!

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