So. The Project. Nice and enigmatic, but I doubt people will be flocking to Amazon to download it to their Kindles. Mrs. Alchemist keeps asking me why I haven’t given it a real title.
Honestly, it’s because I can’t pick one.
What we have here is a story with a fantasy setting. The protagonist, Asherian, comes from a magocracy of floating cities that exist behind a protective wall that is part stone, part magical whoseewhatsis. He’s an apprentice and his class takes a field trip out into the ‘Wilds’ on the other side of that wall. Let’s just say that doesn’t end well.
The idea is that his life has been somewhat cloistered up until this point, and he’s stranded and alone out in a world he’s unfamiliar with, where his use of magic might end up killing him for one reason or another. So it’s something of a hero’s-journey/fish-out-of-water deal. So what am I gonna call this thing? I’ve had a few ideas, but none of them really seem to be sticking.
Arrow of Fate
Ash’s instructor gets arrow’d which dooms the field trip. Now, this was what I originally called it back when this was a short story instead of a novel, and Ash was a chick with a different name. However, it has a few problems. Ash isn’t an archer so the title isn’t about him, arrows don’t play a huge role in the overall story, and the title in general feels kind of Harlequinesque. So I’m inclined to scrap that one.
Beyond the Wall
Since 80-90% of the story will be happening, well, beyond the wall, this one makes more sense. There’s something about it that bugs me, though. I can’t quite put my finger on what it is. Maybe it just feels too much like other fantasy novel titles. Maybe I want to avoid the whole “blank the blank” formula of title creation. Maybe it said something nasty about my mom. I don’t know.
Ash happens across a book a classmate of his had just bought which is blank, and he starts keeping track of his adventures in it. It’s something of a device to help us get a view of things from his perspective between chapters, but it’s not a very big part of the story. Mrs. Alchemist also pointed out that it “tells [the reader] nothing.”
What am I missing, here? Why can’t I pick a title? Which title do you think I should pick? Let’s make some alchemy happen, folks. Bring your disparate elements into the mix and let’s see if we can’t transmute some of these random ideas into the handle for the next bigass fantasy epic of all time. Or at least a little yarn about magic, dragons and interesting people that doesn’t suck.