Wednesday, November 10, 2010

You Tell Me: What's In a Name?

Yes, I'm stealing from Nathan Bransford with the whole "you tell me" post, but I like it, so there. :P

Over the past few days, I've gotten some comments regarding TALES OF MORCAH.  Based on the title alone, some of you have assumed this new WIP is High Fantasy.  I'm not going to tell you if you're right or wrong yet.  First, I want you guys to take a look at the titles of all my WIPs, give me your gut impression, and then we'll compare it to their true genres.

Sound like fun? :D




So, based on title alone, what genre would you guess for each novel?







Answers!  (must scroll over them to see)

ELEMENTAL-- soft sci-fi with paranormal elements (though the query letter only says sci-fi)

HANSEL AND GRETEL-- straight sci-fi (no paranormal, no fantasy)

TALES OF MORCAH-- Paranormal with touches of sci-fi (the query will say paranormal)

Were you close?  If not, do you think you'd be disappointed if you picked up any of these books and found out it was different from what you were expecting?

How much stock do you put in a title?


  1. Elemental - Fantasy
    Hansel and Gretel - MG remaking of fairytale
    Tales of Morcah - High Fantasy

    I'm not sure if I'd be disappointed, because first I'd know what section I picked it up in the store and then I would read the back blurb. That would already give me an idea of what the book is about. That said, the name is what catches me first. I like Elemental. Hansel and Gretel, I don't know, it needs something more attached so I'd know it was different, like Hansel and Gretel Redux or something. Tales of Morcah would chase away those who don't like high fantasy.

    Wow, I'm jabbering. I guess the title will affect whether I even touch the book. Great post! :D

  2. P.S. It's actually the book cover that catches my eye, and if that peaks my interest and I read the back blurb and I like it, then the title really doesn't matter as much.

  3. If I can only see the spine in a library or bookstore, the title is what catches my interest. Otherwise, it's the cover with a slight touch of the title. Nothing is happening when I scroll over so I don't know what your titles really are, but here are my guesses:

    ELEMENTAL = sci-fi or fantasy
    HANSEL & GRETEL = fantasy
    TALES OF MORCAH = fantasy or contemporary

  4. Elemental - Sci-fi
    Hansel & Gretal - fantasy, maybe suspense
    Tales of Morcah - fantasy

    I scrolled over the bit below but wasn't able to see the answers. Dang it!

    I'm always intrigued by titles because I feel like titles are the icing on the cake. The surround the story and bind it together, giving the reader a sense of wholeness when they pick up the novel. I find it wonderful when I pick up a book and find that the story, though different from what I assumed in the title, turns into something else. It's a surprise and I like surprises.


  5. I wouldn't have guessed that's what's actually behind the titles! I tend to put most of my first impressions on the cover; but I suppose this shows just how much of an impact the title itself makes.

  6. Elemental- Paranormal
    Hansel and Gretle- Fairy Tail
    Tales of Morcah- I thought high fantasy, made me think of orcs Minas Morgul, dark fatasy stuff. Not at all what I read in the opening chapter

  7. Oops! I should have said highlight the area after the titles. Sorry!

  8. I think I title most of my works to surprise readers. I like to combine sci-fi with fantastical elements, so my titles tend to reflect the fantasy part.

    Quite interesting answers you all had! Thanks!

  9. I didn't actually used to care that much about titles--until it came to mine (of course). Yours all sound fantasy-ish to me. In the end, your publisher generally changes the title, anyway. :(

  10. Oh! I can make it work now, thanks. I never would've guessed Hansel & Gretel was a sci-fi from the title. Tales of Morcah sounds more paranormal, but I wouldn't have guessed that from your one-page excerpt (which sounds more like contemporary). Obviously, something more abnormal/paranormal happens later on!

  11. I would have pegged both ELEMENTAL and HANSEL AND GRETEL as fantasy, and TALES OF MORCAH as contemporary/historical. However, I don't judge books by their titles, much -- it's the cover that sets the expectations for me.

    However, if a title catches my eyes, I'll probably check it out regardless of genre. :)

  12. Hi Emily
    I hurt myself so can only type one handed at the moment. I won't be able to send anything about the Goober thing. Sorry
    N. R. Williams, fantasy author

  13. ELEMENTAL = fantasy / paranormal
    HANSEL & GRETEL = romance (you did say first impression)
    TALES OF MORCAH = fantasy

  14. I was close on two of them, but totally missed Hansel & Gretel. The fairy tale overshadow through me off.

  15. Thanks, everyone! I have to admit the whole HANSEL AND GRETEL thing was done on purpose. I love taking fairy tale stories and turning them into sci-fi. TALES OF MORCAH is a harder one because it DOES sound like fantasy, but the more you get into the book, the more perfect the title is. But as Elana pointed out, if these books ever get published, the title will not be up to me. It's fine while it lasts, though!


Yay! Comments! Oh, how I do love them! :D