Help! Please Help Me Fix My Book's Title! (No More DREAMING...No More TESLA!)

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Jazzissimo

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Nov 29, 2022
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Hello Everyone!

I am a freshly minted Litopian who just joined moments ago (thank you for the encouragement @Emily) and here I am jumping right into the the thick of things and asking for your expertise and word-smithing magic.

I need to come up with the ULTIMATE effective, compelling, hip, and interesting title for my novel that is just dripping with potential commercial success (the title specifically...but I'm hoping the novel will also be dripping) As an interesting aside, I am the November winner of Pop Up Submissions and couldn't be more excited and proud about THAT! Therefore, it behooves me to nail down this title ASAP. Here is some info for y'all to dig into:

Previous title (now rejected)

"Dreaming of Tesla"

New working title (until we come up with something better :p)
"The Sea of Zarathustra"
(How Jazz Saved The World)


Here is the blurb for the book that I used on Pop Up Submissions:

In 2042, climate change is devastating, society is in rapid decline, entertainment technology is the new religion, and a jazz composer holds the keys to planetary salvation. Follow Cliff Davis and his friends as they race across The People’s Continent in the hopes of reaching the safety of the recluse nation of Sagan. Equipped with an ancient secret from Nikola Tesla, if Cliff can outsmart a relentless assassin and make it to Sagan first, the world, the arts, and society has a chance…

Like any story, there is MUCH more to it than the blurb gives us, but maybe that's enough to spark your collective creative wizardry in coming up with a title? The genre is sci-fi, but utilizes a very unique voice as it is based in the hipster underground jazz community of 2042 and very quickly becomes an epic thriller and love story. Yep...this story is every bit as hybrid as I am!

Just let me know if you'd like further plot-lines, twists, spoilers, manuscript excerpts, and/or characters and I will be more than happy to supply said right here!

Thank you all MUCHO!!!:heart:
:heart::heart::heart:
 
I kinda like ‘How Jazz saved the world’ but it’s too generic.
You need a title that gives us a clue as to the genre, and the type of story.
And I think, considering the uniqueness of that first 700 words, you can afford to go way out with this.
Keep thinking, and chuck more titles at us, ok?
Xx VH
 
Cliff Jumpers
Cliff Blast
The Road to Sagan
Off the Cliff
Cliff Swing
Dreams of Sagan
Rhythm of the Cliff
Sagan Flow
Rhythm Against the Future
Everything Plus the Cliff
RG: THANK YOU! Those are ALL stellar! I can see that this exercise is going to be VERY successful...
 
The Trumpet of The Seventh Seal


It can be a jazz trumpet, but this trumpet, and the angel who sounds it, Israfil, is the seventh seal of Judgement Day - the end of the world. The end of time itself.
WOWZA! Katie-Ellen, that is EPIC! A bit more serious than I'm going for...but I will use it as a roux for my mental gumbo indeed!
 
I kinda like ‘How Jazz saved the world’ but it’s too generic.
You need a title that gives us a clue as to the genre, and the type of story.
And I think, considering the uniqueness of that first 700 words, you can afford to go way out with this.
Keep thinking, and chuck more titles at us, ok?
Xx VH
In going way out...is a multi word title cool, or should I strive for one or two perfect words?
 
Ok...here is a quick batch:

The Jazz, The Chase, and the Answer
Cliff Notes
Aliens, Food, and Jazz, Oh My!
Entertained and Endangered
When Jazz Saved the Universe
Run Cliff run
Jazz Dreams (A Novel of Planetary Reclamation)
Beyond The Free Zone
From Little Venice to Sagan (or How Jazz Saved the Planet)
Dream or Nightmare?
Jazz is the Answer

I'll think of 100 more or so to keep this going. As the Mighty Roz said in the most recent Pop Up: "We'll just trip over the right one when it shows up."
 
Ok...here is a quick batch:

The Jazz, The Chase, and the Answer
Cliff Notes
Aliens, Food, and Jazz, Oh My!
Entertained and Endangered
When Jazz Saved the Universe
Run Cliff run
Jazz Dreams (A Novel of Planetary Reclamation)
Beyond The Free Zone
From Little Venice to Sagan (or How Jazz Saved the Planet)
Dream or Nightmare?
Jazz is the Answer

I'll think of 100 more or so to keep this going. As the Mighty Roz said in the most recent Pop Up: "We'll just trip over the right one when it shows up."
And a cuppa more...

Archangels on the Horizon
To Groove or Not To Groove
When Archie Met Clifford
–that last one is a reference to a BIG plot twist where extraterestrials are introduced towards the end "The Archangels" and their ambassador with an unpronounceable name is just called "Archie."
 
It seems to me that at least half the suggested titles could be slightly improved with the addition of the word "The" in the beginning. For example Entertained and Endangered could become "The Entertained and The endangered."
 
You need a title that's both memorable and doesn't sound like any old square book. Yet, also doesn't sound like it's trying too hard. I would definitely pick up a book called Cliff Cats, or Rhythm Against the Future, or Beyond the Free Zone. Avoid brand names or exclamation marks, as they are a nightmare to use in URLs.
 
You need a title that's both memorable and doesn't sound like any old square book. Yet, also doesn't sound like it's trying too hard. I would definitely pick up a book called Cliff Cats, or Rhythm Against the Future, or Beyond the Free Zone. Avoid brand names or exclamation marks, as they are a nightmare to use in URLs.
BRILLIANT! Thank you RG. I may be leaning towards "Beyond The Free Zone" as the story begins in what used to be New York City and in 2042 is now called "The Manhattan Free Zone" or "MFZ." Doesn't quite get to the jazz aspect or the comedy-base, but maybe it doesn't need to?
 
It seems to me that at least half the suggested titles could be slightly improved with the addition of the word "The" in the beginning. For example Entertained and Endangered could become "The Entertained and The endangered."
Ooohhh..."The Entertained and The Endangered" I REALLY dig that. Do you think it is compelling enough on its own without having to hint at sci-fi, jazz, or comedy? (The book is chock-o-block with all three) I DO like how it gets to the heart of the mission of the story, however: that of Cliff saving the Earth's SOCIETY by rescuing critical thought and the arts via jazz. What do you think?
 
Front runners so far...

Beyond The Free Zone
The Entertained and The Endangered
When Cliff Met Archie
Rhythm Against the Future

I'll bet we all come up with fifty more! What do you all think pf these four mighty contenders? Do they spark further fine tuning thoughts or directions, or is one of them something you would be SUPER COMPELLED to pick up and read if you loved near-future sci-fi that is character driven (great love story) fast action-paced drama, but heaviy laden with comedy? (Hmmm sounds like the Marvel Universe demographic)
 
I'm quite enjoying the idea of a combination: The Universe Entertained and the Endangered Beyond the Free Zone

or something that says the same, but shorter. Clarity of genre makes a big deal to the first glimpse of title and cover, so if the title doesn't say SF, the cover absolutely should.
 
I'm quite enjoying the idea of a combination: The Universe Entertained and the Endangered Beyond the Free Zone

or something that says the same, but shorter. Clarity of genre makes a big deal to the first glimpse of title and cover, so if the title doesn't say SF, the cover absolutely should.
Ooohhh...that is some SERIOUS food for thought...time to eat and digest and get back to you on THAT one! Thanks.
 
I'm quite enjoying the idea of a combination: The Universe Entertained and the Endangered Beyond the Free Zone

or something that says the same, but shorter. Clarity of genre makes a big deal to the first glimpse of title and cover, so if the title doesn't say SF, the cover absolutely should.
Perhaps:

The Entertained and The Endangered
(Beyond the Free Zone)


Hmmm...might be too long. I think we are on the right track though. I like that "The Entertained and The Endangered" suggests both comedy and ominous sci-fi. No direct mention of jazz, but "The Entertained" seems to get at that a bit. The addition of "Beyond the Free Zone" is pretty cool as well and makes one wonder what this story is all about. Perhaps too long though. I'll be interested in hearing what everyone else thinks.

That being said, we are approaching the WEE HOURS in the U.K. and dinner time here in the U.S. so I will check back in tomorrow.

Thank you all SO VERY MUCH! :heart:
 
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Perhaps:

The Entertained and The Endangered
(Beyond the Free Zone)


Hmmm...might be too long. I think we are on the right track though. I like that "The Entertained and The Endangered" suggests both comedy and ominous sci-fi. No direct mention of jazz, but "The Entertained" seems to get at that a bit. The addition of "Beyond the Free Zone" is pretty cool as well and makes one wonder what this story is all about. Perhaps too long though. I'll be interested in hearing what everyone else thinks.

That being said, we are approaching the WEE HOURS in the U.K. and dinner time here in the U.S. so I will check back in tomorrow.

Thank you all SO VERY MUCH! :heart:
"The Entertained" makes me think of Scott Joplin so yes, it says jazz to me (Dixieland jazz). "The Endangered" makes me think of a whole host of animals.

I like "Rhythm against the Future"
 
Does Nikola have to have the surname Tesla? I think you should steer clear (sorry for the pun) of such a well-known brand name altogether.
Or turn the name around - Tesla becomes: Setla, or Etsla, or Lates, or Satel ... only the writer needs to know
 
These two struck a chord with me (sorry, couldn't help myself, lol):

Rhythm Against the Future

I think RG has hit on an awesome title. It has a Back to the Future vibe, and that tells me to expect sci fi, humour, love, romance, eclectic. I'd even up the ante and say Jazz Against the Future.

The Trumpet of The Seventh Seal

I'm just loving the ring of this :)
 
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