Titles are hard

My agent doesn’t like the title The Winter Dragon for my current manuscript. I mean, she likes the title, but feels it sounds too noble and so on for what it applies to in the actual book — it is kind of the symbol of the bad guy, not the good guy. Or was. I shifted that around a bit, too, during this hopefully more-or-less-final revision.

So, new title. I know the publisher (this one is for Saga) may not keep my title, but it’s always nice to come up with a good one. So what do you all think about the following choices:

A) Iron Hinge Winter

B) The Iron Hinge of Winter

C) Both sound stupid, go in a different direction

I like the first, the second is perhaps a tiny bit more accurate given the usage in the book, I’m not sure either *sounds* good. Comment, please!

Please Feel Free to Share:


13 thoughts on “Titles are hard”

  1. I’d say “Winter Hinge” or “Winter’s Hinge”. Or perhaps even Hinge Winter, but that’s strongly influenced by one of my favorite books as a kid being Thimble Summer.

  2. Iron Hinge makes me think of mechanical things, things that bend around an axis. Machines and metal things. I like the second one better but am inclined to go with option C. Mostly because I love The Winter Dragon.

  3. I lean towards #2 but only slightly. Do I take it the phrase is used in the book?

    How about Winter’s Hinge? Axle-Tree of Winter? (isn’t that from an Eliot poem?) That’s assuming you are aiming for a sense of turning point? Iron Pole/spindle/axis/stalk…of Winter.

    something is niggling but I can’t persuade it to come out in the open, but the general sense is of looking at the phrase and re-contexting it the way the guy who described his ‘suspension of disbelief precipitating out’ instead of being snapped or whatever did. Chemical instead of mechanical suspension. As applied to your title hunt.

    . … sorry, I suck at titles and names.

  4. Allan Shampine

    Choice C. I also like The Winter Dragon, but if that’s off the table, and if it has to have the word “Hinge” in it, then Winter’s Hinge or Winter Hinge sound better to me.

    But I recommend against the word “hinge.” I agree that it sounds very mechanical and, well, dull. I don’t want to read a book about a hinge. I want to read a book about a dragon.

    If your agent is worried about “The Winter Dragon” giving a misleading impression, perhaps that could be addressed by the cover art? Maybe some different adjectives? If “winter” implies white and pure snow, maybe darken it up? “Rime”?

  5. Well, that looks pretty much unanimous so far. Down with mechanical items! Even metaphorical mechanical items!

    I was looking for a “turning point” kind of thing, Elaine. I shall mull over “spindle” and so on, but also start trying to come up with completely different directions to go with the title.

    Back to the drawing board, and thank you!

    And I KNOW, Maureen! I, too, like The Winter Dragon! I do see my agent’s point, but maybe I’ll include it as one in a list of possible titles when I (finally) send the manuscript to my editor.

  6. Yeah, “hinge” isn’t a great word for me. If it doesn’t have to be “Hinge”, how about “Heart”?

    Iron Heart Winter
    The Iron Heart of Winter

  7. I know I’m outnumbered, but I find something very evocative about Iron Hinge Winter. It really makes me want to pick up the book and figure out what that means. Lol

  8. Turning point, hm? Seems like there should be something doable with that. The winter solstice is the natural turning point, but makes for a lousy title. “The Iron Winter Solstice.” Yeeeaahh. Not so much. What about “The Longest Night” or “The Longest Winter Night” or “The Dark of Winter”?

    “Winter’s Dark Turning”?

    Man, this title stuff is hard.

  9. Katie Patchell

    I’d say C, although I really love The Winter Dragon! Very epic…even if it applies to the bad guy. Besides, who doesn’t like an epic bad guy? ;)

  10. While I’m not against the word hinge, it takes some finessing to use it in a phonetically pleasing way. It all makes me think science fiction vs fantasy, not just because of its definition, but because I think awkward-sounding words work great in science fiction titles, words like apehelion and apogee.

    As for fantasy-sounding turning point options, I’m partial to the word threshold. It’s got that nice Old English sound, but I don’t know if that works with your story.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top