Still thinking about…

Still thinking about titles. Problems with them:
  • Arasi + Madhava, or Rasathi + Madhava: too much foreign stuff, potentially alienating
  • The Lost Ones: sort of generic, also, having a hard time coming up with good titles in line with this for books two and three
  • Flame and Shadow: incredibly standard epic fantasy title. On the other hand, it worked for many many previous bestselling fantasy authors, and I have bought and read (and enjoyed) many books with this sort of title. See Song of Ice and Fire, etc. I don't know about this one.
  • Powers: Le Guin has a YA fantasy titled this, and fairly recently too.
  • Palace on the Mountain: I kind of like this, but it doesn't seem to resonate with anyone else (kind of reminds me of John Christopher's titles)
I have a new working title:


The Thousand-Year War

(Book One)

Arasi means queen, which is very appropriate for the book, in multiple ways, but won't immediately put off boys, since they presumably won't know it means that. :-) Following titles would follow the same pattern -- single word, followed by that subtitle.

What do you think of it?

If I want the second book's single word to be Warrior in Tamil, anyone know what that would be? I know the warrior caste is Kshatriya (my caste, if one buys into such things) -- would it be weird to just use that, meaning a role for a person, rather than the entire caste? Is my question even making sense? Soldier would also work. I tried looking at an excellent online dictionary, but it was perhaps too excellent -- many options, and I'm not at all sure which connotes what. Would Patan be approprite? How about Akavam?

And hey, in case a Tamil expert does show up (or even someone who has decent conversational Tamil would be grand), I think book three will probably be Servant, so I need that word too.

10 thoughts on “Still thinking about…”

  1. I’m useless with the Tamil, but I like it in the title. “Arasi” has a cool sound to it, too – startling and unusual for us non-Tamil types. 8^) Without knowing your plot, maybe an alternate could be combining the Tamil and English? “Arasi Lost”, or “Arasi Flame”?

    As a bookseller, I haaaate the multi-level YA titles, a.k.a. The Idea: The Franchise: The Explanation: Part One. Although it makes it easier to catalogue and the publishers seem to love it… I just can’t stand it on an aesthetic level. But that’s me.

  2. I like Arasi: The Thousand-Year War.

    (You don’t really have to call it Book One, do you? Could that be understood? Or labeled less conspicuously?) Really like the Warrior/Servant titles coming up. Nice.

    I also like Palace on the Mountain.

    As for writing times, when are you free the week after next? The week of August 30 is when we’re off work.

  3. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    Oh, it *would* be that week. Argh. That’s an awful week for writing for me; Roshani will be in town, so when I’m not teaching, I’m planning to be running around doing house research stuff with her. Visiting garden stores, salvage places, that kind of thing.

    I don’t feel strongly about the Book One thing; it totally depends on what the publisher wants (assuming there is a publisher). Having it in tiny print is fine, or ditching it entirely.

    But I’m kind of surprised you two dislike it — as a reader, I really prefer to know ahead of time when a book I’m thinking of buying is part of a series. Mostly, it makes me more likely to buy it, in fact, since most good books are too short!

  4. “as a reader, I really prefer to know ahead of time when a book I’m thinking of buying is part of a series.”

    I second this. (And would like to underline it, circle it in red, and draw a bunch of arrows pointing to it as well.)

  5. I do like being able to tell a series is a series and which one is the first book, but I’m willing to look at the spine or the title page or the “also by this author” page for more information.

    Of course you’re busy that week! Raspberries.

  6. “The Thousand Year War” as a subtitle makes it seem like it’ll be very much like a long slog to read, particularly when I would think of later entries in the series.

    “Arasi” sounds great though.

  7. I like this a lot and I also like Ingrid’s suggestion (Arasi Lost, Arasi Flame, etc) if it works for your plot.

    I also really hate it when it’s a trilogy or series and it doesn’t say clearly which book is which. IMHO it *must* say Book 1, Book 2, etc., clearly on the cover or the spine. Or SOMEWHERE. (James Patterson for example drives me NUTS because I can never figure out the order of those Maximum Ride books. My sense of that story is thus completely random.)

  8. Ling King Rat, I do not like “The Thousand-Year War”. That makes it sound like it will be a Robert Jordan type of endeavor.

    I like “Arasi”, but it does make me think of “Anansi”, which leads me to Neil Gaiman.

  9. I thought your folks spoke some Tamil? Or are you not wanting to run this past them?

    I like Ingrid’s “Arasi ____” suggestion a lot. I’d include the “Book N” somewhere else on the cover, not as part of the title.

  10. Mary Anne,
    If this is going to be a trilogy covering so many years, is it assumed that someone at the end of that time is telling the story? Or do we accompany the characters through the time span, each character the next generation/book?
    Is a title such as The Legend(s) of XXXX. the Journey begins. too passe these days? Yeah I know… too many “Chronicles of”…on the shelves already.
    But if I recall how the feats of various Asian kings/rulers are recorded, each new event is inscribed on a wall or monument like an entry in a journal or diary.
    My bad if I don’t have that right. :^)
    I like the term “Volume” instead of book. It implies a unified series of books (Kind of old time terminology for writing a history or epic… aha thats it… Volume 1 of the epic story of the Warrior clan/tribe/family of..XXXX in small print.

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