Author Topic: To transcend or ascend or question on book title!  (Read 375 times)  

Offline RileyMorrison

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To transcend or ascend or question on book title!
« on: August 15, 2017, 08:29:31 PM »
Hi,

I just have a quick question.

I am trying to decide on a title for my second book in my series. I have come down to two names I like.

Transcendence of a Lost Sun

or

Ascendance of a Lost Sun


The book is fantasy set underground but is also sci-fi and steampunk. The main antagonist who is also one of the main characters and the driving character of the second and third book is a transhumanist (she believes in the ascension of flesh to machine). So transhumanism is important in the story and is, in many ways, one of the prime themes of the series.

So Transcendence of a Lost Sun fits. But then I am told by friends/family people might not know what that word means but they would know what ascendance means.

Am I better off going with Ascendance of a Lost Sun like they think? Or would Transcendence of a Lost Sun be ok?

I had a similar problem with the first book, Heir to a Lost Sun that I originally titled, Scion of a Lost Sun but was told most people don't know what Scion means and will be confused.

Thannks:)


Offline WHDean

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Re: To transcend or ascend or question on book title!
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2017, 08:36:36 PM »
Given your plot, the ascendance version is meaningless. Even without the context, I'm not sure what it would mean.

You should go with the accurate title because people who read that sort of thing know what transcendence means. You could also go with "Transcending the Lost Sun," because the meaning is a little easier to intuit.

 

 

Offline RileyMorrison

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Re: To transcend or ascend or question on book title!
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2017, 09:36:10 PM »
Given your plot, the ascendance version is meaningless. Even without the context, I'm not sure what it would mean.

You should go with the accurate title because people who read that sort of thing know what transcendence means. You could also go with "Transcending the Lost Sun," because the meaning is a little easier to intuit.

Thanks for your reply and suggestion!

I'd assume readers of book 1 would know what transcendence would mean in relation to the book 2 as the antagonist mentions the word and concept several times during the final chapters. It is also pretty clear what she plans to do (turn people into cyborgs), so I think I'd be fine.

Offline Dune

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Re: To transcend or ascend or question on book title!
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2017, 09:40:15 PM »
Which to you "positions" the reader, so when they sit down to read your book, they "know" what they're in for. Instead of wondering, what the book is about.

To a reader, what is transcend or ascend meanings? Transcend, means to me, to become an immortal god from human, or ascend means to climb a mountain of some kind, but not go through any meta-physical/meta-mystical transformation.

Just as in Shakespeare's play, wasn't called "Hamlet," but "The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark." For you, your picking the word "tragedy," so be sure to nail your word choice.

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Offline Jeff Tanyard

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Re: To transcend or ascend or question on book title!
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2017, 10:14:51 PM »
Is the "lost sun" the same thing as your protagonist?
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Offline RileyMorrison

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Re: To transcend or ascend or question on book title!
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2017, 10:34:16 PM »
Is the "lost sun" the same thing as your protagonist?

No. The Sun is forgotten by all but a group calling themselves the Covenant of the Lost Sun. As it is set underground in the far future, the surface is forgotten by everyone except this covenant who was founded so the surface would be remembered. They believe that one day humans will return to it. They also worship images of the Lost Sun.

Offline RileyMorrison

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Re: To transcend or ascend or question on book title!
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2017, 10:35:02 PM »
Which to you "positions" the reader, so when they sit down to read your book, they "know" what they're in for. Instead of wondering, what the book is about.

To a reader, what is transcend or ascend meanings? Transcend, means to me, to become an immortal god from human, or ascend means to climb a mountain of some kind, but not go through any meta-physical/meta-mystical transformation.

Just as in Shakespeare's play, wasn't called "Hamlet," but "The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark." For you, your picking the word "tragedy," so be sure to nail your word choice.

Thanks for the reply!

Offline T E Scott Writer

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Re: To transcend or ascend or question on book title!
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2017, 11:47:05 PM »
I think most people will know what transcend means!

T E Scott

Offline RileyMorrison

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Re: To transcend or ascend or question on book title!
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2017, 12:25:05 AM »
I think most people will know what transcend means!

I thought so too. But then I thought people knew what scion meant. I think I will go with Transcendence of a Lost Sun! Though ascendance of a Lost Sun is a cool name too. Thanks for your reply:)

Offline Jeff Tanyard

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Re: To transcend or ascend or question on book title!
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2017, 12:27:05 AM »
No. The Sun is forgotten by all but a group calling themselves the Covenant of the Lost Sun. As it is set underground in the far future, the surface is forgotten by everyone except this covenant who was founded so the surface would be remembered. They believe that one day humans will return to it. They also worship images of the Lost Sun.

Gotcha.  The reason I ask is because the "transcendence" thing describes what your protagonist is doing.  So if the protag and the lost sun are two different things, as you say they are, then it doesn't make sense to me to use "Transcendence of a Lost Sun," since it's not the lost sun that is actually transcending anything.  So to answer your question, I understand the word "transcendence," but I don't understand it in this context.

My suggestion would be to change the preposition: "Transcendence to a Lost Sun."  Or maybe "Transcending the Lost Sun," as WHDean suggested.  Or you could use a different noun altogether, like "Images of a Lost Sun" or "Memory of a Lost Sun" or something.

Anyway, just my two cents.  Good luck.   :)
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Offline C. Gold

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Re: To transcend or ascend or question on book title!
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2017, 12:28:26 AM »
I think most people will know what transcend means!
Yah, I'd hope so.

Go with your instinct. Transcend is the proper word to use for what your story seems to be about.

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Re: To transcend or ascend or question on book title!
« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2017, 08:06:53 AM »
Lost Sun Ascending

I think ascension works for your story, bc your MC sees transcending as ascendance. I also like this more active sound, it captures my imagination more. But eh.

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Offline TromboneAl

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Re: To transcend or ascend or question on book title!
« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2017, 09:16:48 AM »
I recommend brainstorming at least fifty ideas for a title, and get opinions on them here or elsewhere.

You'll probably never want to change the title, so you want to get a good one.

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Offline Lydiajoyce

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Re: To transcend or ascend or question on book title!
« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2017, 03:39:04 PM »
I vote for Transcending the Lost Sun, or Ascending to the Lost Sun, because I think either choice scans better than your originals, and ascending "to" just sounds better in my head. Which you use depends on which fits the book.

Also, don't worry about readers not understanding the meaning of a word. People who read have much larger vocabularies than people who don't, and it feels a bit patronizing to me to have it assumed that a word won't be understood. Don't talk down to your readers.

Offline C. Gold

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Re: To transcend or ascend or question on book title!
« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2017, 06:09:24 PM »
I vote for Transcending the Lost Sun, or Ascending to the Lost Sun, because I think either choice scans better than your originals, and ascending "to" just sounds better in my head. Which you use depends on which fits the book.

Also, don't worry about readers not understanding the meaning of a word. People who read have much larger vocabularies than people who don't, and it feels a bit patronizing to me to have it assumed that a word won't be understood. Don't talk down to your readers.
Definitely. Also assume us readers are not adverse to using a dictionary to look up any unfamiliar words. ;)

Offline P.J. Post

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Re: To transcend or ascend or question on book title!
« Reply #15 on: August 16, 2017, 06:56:39 PM »
While I get the intent, the problem I see with your choices is one of branding. "Heir to a Lost Sun" stacks nicely on the cover and makes for a recognizable brand element. Both of the proposed titles ruin this look, and the look is just as important, if not more important than the actual title - from a marketing perspective, if not an artistic/literary one.

I'd recommend searching for a four letter alternative that maintains title uniformity. Short, one syllable titles pop.

Offline Greg Banks

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Re: To transcend or ascend or question on book title!
« Reply #16 on: August 16, 2017, 11:02:23 PM »
While I get the intent, the problem I see with your choices is one of branding. "Heir to a Lost Sun" stacks nicely on the cover and makes for a recognizable brand element. Both of the proposed titles ruin this look, and the look is just as important, if not more important than the actual title - from a marketing perspective, if not an artistic/literary one.

I'd recommend searching for a four letter alternative that maintains title uniformity. Short, one syllable titles pop.


I try to have my titles be meaningful, and/or "catchy". And by catchy, I mostly just mean that  want my titles to roll easily off the tongue, which in turn makes it more easily remembered. I'm not sure if either of your choices could be considered catchy, as it were.
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Offline RileyMorrison

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Re: To transcend or ascend or question on book title!
« Reply #17 on: August 16, 2017, 11:05:58 PM »
Thank you to all the replies!

The original title was War of a Lost Sun but now that name will be for book 4, which was originally titled Return to a Lost Sun. But then the series got carried away.
Considering the prime antagonist has stolen the body of the prime protagonist from book 1 maybe I can call the second book Rise of a Lost Sun. The antagonist is an ancient being (from just in ahead in our time) and has returned from the ancient past to this future world to finish her "destruction" (depends on how you view transhumanism) of the human race. She will destroy humanity to save it.

Book 1. Heir to a Lost Sun
Book 2. Rise of a Lost Sun
Book 3. Fall of a Lost Sun (the antagonist it defeated the original prime protagonist has to pick up the pieces and prepare to fight the war overshadowing the whole series. It also ends on a luke warm note but with the knowledge, the worst is yet to come)
Book 4. War of a Lost Sun. (She fights the war and another protagonist return people to the surface to rebuild.)

But, me thinks I need time to think over the title. I just want book 2's done so i can get the cover made.