How does one title a book? Actually, how should I title my story?

Bramandin

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I read this, How to Choose an Unforgettable Title for Your Fantasy Novel so maybe my question is more about how to title my story.

The opening scene has a luck goddess, and she is going to pop up occasionally before the climax, but I want her significance to be understated until then and be lost under misotheism and a bit of fantastic racism so that the readers keep almost forgetting about her. The setting is dark, but the story really isn't. Sure the world is filled with monsters and abusive people, but it's not happening to the MC. It's going to be a little like Name of the Wind and Wise Man's Fear where it significant points of MC's life interspersed with stories he hears. There really isn't an antagonist, though he does butt heads with authority figures. The generator just spat Mistress of Chaos at me and that's an apt name for one character, but she's more in the background after she disrupts MC's life in the first chapter.

Just some things that stuck out to me from a title generator:
  • Wizard, Heart, and City
  • Memory and Mists
  • God, Evil, and Scourge (TBH I could almost use this.)
  • The Fate of Derebin (Radley thinks that he got averted from his proper fate, which was to die in a gutter before adulthood.)
  • City, Child, and War
  • Children of Discord
  • Children of the Bright Garden (Heirs of Myth?)
  • The Herald of the Mage
  • The Spell and the Child
Bah, it will probably come to me at one point.
 

Guttersnipe

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Can you tell us more about the MC and his journey? Does it have much to do with luck, other than the goddess? What's the setting like? I have not read those novels, only the beginning of Name of the Wind.
 

Bramandin

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Can you tell us more about the MC and his journey? Does it have much to do with luck, other than the goddess? What's the setting like? I have not read those novels, only the beginning of Name of the Wind.

His luck is fairly ordinary after that one thing. He doesn't believe in the luck goddess, though part of him wonders. He steals her offerings when they're food, this time he stole an exceptionally good offering, he instantly gets kidnapped by a monster who finds him a foster family. He also doesn't have bad luck when he goes home and tries to convince people that religion is bad.

This isn't part of this story because the MC isn't in the room, but it would fit if the POV shifted or he was eavesdropping:
“If I were willing to believe that Fortuna is real, it almost sounds like he was rewarded for drawing her ire.”

“Or an offering thief was disposed of,”

The setting is a schizo-tech fantasy world where humanity was poised to have an industrial revolution or was even in the early years, but then the sorcerers made a zombie apocalypse but they're not zombies. (I just realized what this reminds me of.) This is a few generations after the sorcerers are gone, but there's still monsters everywhere. The place where he was born and goes back to allows spousal abuse, but the place he grows up in doesn't.

The first to chapters are in critiques under "The Orphan Meets a Monster."
 

BAYLOR

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I did not initially like this film when it first came out But in truth , its grown on me.

Two animated science fiction films you might want to check out

Gandhar 1987

War of the Worlds Goliath 2013
 

Bramandin

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I might call it Age of Chaos personally. Or Age of Monsters.

Age of Monsters might be good. Other than Leti, I'm not sure if he's going to meet any more of the worgen-things, but it might fit in with how some of the people he meets act in ways that we would find barbaric if not monstrous.
 

BAYLOR

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Age of Monsters might be good. Other than Leti, I'm not sure if he's going to meet any more of the worgen-things, but it might fit in with how some of the people he meets act in ways that we would find barbaric if not monstrous.

Tales From the Monstrous Realm
 

Bramandin

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Grrr, I want to name it Myths and Monsters, but that's really generic.
 

Bramandin

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What about the title I suggested?:)

I'm not feeling it. It sounds a bit like a short-story anthology and while there are going to be mini-stories if my creativity cooperates, the main story is going to be about the boy.
 

BAYLOR

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I'm not feeling it. It sounds a bit like a short-story anthology and while there are going to be mini-stories if my creativity cooperates, the main story is going to be about the boy.

Hm, yeah now that I think about it , It does sound like an anthology title . :)
 

Laura R Hepworth

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Have you checked for naming conventions of other books within the same/similar market as yours? Some genre and target audience will play a role in picking a fitting title as, besides catching a readers attention, the title can also give cues as to what sort of book it is and help it reach the right readers.
 

Bramandin

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Have you checked for naming conventions of other books within the same/similar market as yours? Some genre and target audience will play a role in picking a fitting title as, besides catching a readers attention, the title can also give cues as to what sort of book it is and help it reach the right readers.

Other than "fantasy" I'm not sure what genre I'm in. It's a bit like Name of the Wind and Wise Man's Fear; the first being the quest that he eventually gains and the second is from a quote that I think connects to that section of story.

“There are three things all wise men fear: the sea in storm, a night with no moon, and the anger of a gentle man.”

There is already a book called "Heir of the Monster" Also might be a bit goofy since this story started as a minor sub-plot in my Legacy of Kain fanfiction.

I like Radley as my protagonist's name, but it's not really epic enough to go on the cover.

Looking at my bookcase, I haven't read these yet but there's Deep Blue, the Red Pyramid, Mortal Engines... So I assume place-names are popular. The world's name is Pamant, maybe I could work with that. I'm currently reading Tempests and Slaughter and I haven't gotten very far but I think it's about a wizard going to school.
 

Toby Frost

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I'd wait until you've finished it. Then you'll have a better idea of what the story is really about. I've written several books with working titles like "space book".
 

sule

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Hi there. I hope this doesn't sound harsh, but: It sounds to me like you're distracting yourself from the important part, which is writing the story. If the story isn't finished yet, the title should be the last thing one should care about, for this reason: the best title is usually found by writing the story. For example, you brought up The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man's Fear (as plot comparisons, but go with me). Both of those titles are lines from the book. A story's title is not just a tag to quickly tell the reader what the genre is; it is the first way for a reader to know what the story is about, the tone of it, and a number of other things. Those points are not likely to be hit by a title generator. For instance, The Name of the Wind is a good title for its novel because the story is about the main character's quest to discover the name of the wind and what that means to him; it also evokes the poetic nature of the novel's prose, one of its main selling points.

It's ok to give your story a working title if you need a handle on it, but I think you'll find that, once you've got the story down you'll have a much better, more specific title that fits your story better than something that was churned out of a title generator. Please, write the story first, then worry about the title. I understand a little about how daunting it feels to just sit down and write the thing; but you're never going to get it finished if you worry about every tiny detail before you've actually written it. It looks like you've got a good start on it, so keep going. Keep writing.
 

Boaz

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@Bramandin What I take from your description is a hidden and then revealed luck. Can you look at synonyms for hidden, revelation and luck and put them in different combinations?

The Sensation of Happenstance
Advantageous Apocalypse
Revelation of Destiny
Lucky the Obscure
Buried Treasure
Suppressed Fortune
Karma's Curtain
The Occasional Clouds
Secret Serendipity
Smooth Struggles
Dumb Luck
Conceal, Reveal, Surreal
Faith, Hope, Love... and Fluke

Make of this what you will.
 

Laura R Hepworth

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Yeah, I have to agree with Toby and Sule. If you're not certain yet what subset of fantasy your book's in, then you should really just focus on writing the story first and figuring out the title later. Plenty of works are given a working title that later changes for just this reason. It's basically a band-aid fix to the title equivalent of the blank page syndrome so that you can push on to write.

Fantasy is a huge category with numerous subgenres within it and it's a very good thing to know which one(s) your book falls under. Write your story first and then do some hard thinking about the themes, style, tropes, etc. that are in your book. When you know this, you can research the different subsets of fantasy and comparable stories to choose the title that best fits both your story and what sort of fantasy book it is.
 

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