Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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Black Dog Book 5 Title

Okay, you were all extremely helpful a few days ago in getting me to think about this title in a different way.

I want to say that up front, because the titles that have occurred to me now don’t use any of your suggestions directly. Nevertheless, thinking about “light” and “moon” and so on gave me a different direction.

I wrote down all your suggestions and related two-word titles that occurred to me, about a dozen total, and gazed at them. I started with Blood Witch — my first idea — and added False Witch and Witch Moon and Moon Bound (too cliched, I know!) and Moon Rising and so on. Also Light Rising and Binding Light and things like that.

Then I gazed at the current titles: Black Dog, Pure Magic, Shadow Twin, Copper Mountain. All of those have either adjective-noun or noun-noun, so I decided I had better make the second word a noun. The first word seemed to allow more flexibility. So I tried titles involving Light, including Dawn Light and Rising Dawn and Rising Light

Then I thought about the number of syllables. One-one, one-one, two-one, two-two. So there isn’t a really rigid requirement for number of syllables, just number of words.

THEN I thought abut stuff that is important all the way through the series and can be assumed to be important for Book 5 as well, or if necessary made to be important — at least important enough to justify inclusion in the title. Not only things like demons, but things like — mandalas, pentagrams, spirals, circles.

So now I am thinking of this for the fifth book:

MANDALA DAWN

Or some other two-word title with mandala in it.

There, that is a LOT less evocative of horror. Whatever happens in Book 5, I expect mandalas will be drawn. What do you all think?

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15 Comments Black Dog Book 5 Title

  1. Elaine T

    my brain offers spiral sunrise. or sunrise spirals, it’s not picky.

    pentagram is too long a word for a title. Mandala dawn seems a bit…. mmm… thumpy? Ends on a down note? But the gist is good.

    Dawn, daybreak, sunrise… In Elder Scrolls (the Teen has been bending my ear about that setting for a while) Azura is of Dawn and Dusk and her realm is Moonshadow….which I like as a standalone. put it in the title with mandala and it sounds like a romance novel.

    Mandala Morn?

  2. Allan Shampine

    Couple of things. First, picked up the paperback version of Sphere of the Winds for the daughter. She’s very excited. She also noticed my name in the acknowledgements, which was cool! Thank you!

    Second, I talked about the Mandala Dawn working title with her and I’m afraid neither of us is taken with it. The use of two nouns seems peculiar, and the word mandala itself doesn’t speak to us, especially in a two word title. We couldn’t think of an alternative using mandala that worked for us.

    What about something like Silver Circle, or Circle of Light?

  3. Jeanine

    I’ll read your book no matter what! But, since you ask, I am not crazy about this proposed title. It does seem a bit clunky. Trying to think of other Mandala titles (without knowing the plot!) but not coming up with much myself. Rainbow Mandala. Mandala Dreams. Mandala Peace. Mandala Blue. Mandala Spirit. Mandala Harmony. Mandala Hopes. Mandala Wishes. I think the big problem is that, if you’re set on a two word title with Mandala in it, most words will sound clunky next to Mandala, rhythmically speaking. I think a slightly longer title such as The Silver Mandala would sound better. The Mandala Dawn would still sound clunky but what about The Mandala of Dawn? (But not The Dawn of the Mandala, lol!) Anyway, just my opinion! I know you’ll come up with something good!

  4. Hanneke

    Mandala holding? Mandala light? Web of light?
    Drawn invocation? Strong mandala? Mandala of strength?
    Mandala of power? Mandala powers? Powers holding?

    Why do I appear stuck on the word ‘holding’?

  5. Hanneke

    Magic shield? Shielding mandala? Sheltering mandala? Magic shelter?
    Mandala magic?
    Mandala guard?
    Guarding mandala? Sentry mandala?
    Portal guard?
    Dawn’s respite? Day’s dawning?

  6. SarahZ

    I think maybe circles, instead of mandalas, because they’re also used in the magic, but it’s 2 syllables and has more potential meanings –

    Bright Circle? Silver circle? Dunno

  7. Elaine T

    Mandala Daybreak is better than the Dawn variant, the rhythm works better.

    Radiant Web, thinking of Justin’s net.

    Bright/Silver Pentangle – Natividad uses those, too, doesn’t she?

  8. Sandstone

    The word mandala has a strong association with Eastern religions for me, especially Hinduism and Buddhism, that I am not sure you are going for? Spiral and Pentagram don’t have that association, maybe something like Spiral Dawn?

    I noticed that the current books have almost a color theme going on, with Black, Pure (sorta), Shadow, and Copper, I agree with the suggestions of Silver, Bright, Radiant for the first word as fitting in with that. Something like White Moon, or Pale Moon, to play off the opposite of Black in Black Dog maybe? Silver Dawn, White Dawn?

  9. Kim Aippersbach

    Love the idea expressed by Mandala Dawn. Love the word Mandala. Agree with the others that the rhythm is problematic. (Actually, I think it’s the mid-word alliteration that causes the problem.)

    Because the theme of family, of the House of Dimilioc, is so important, because home is the safe, protected place: Mandala Home. Circle Home. Spiral Home.

    Sandstone has something in that color idea: I like Silver Dawn. Silver Moon? Silver Bound?

    Ok, Pete, we need the recipe for Mandala Sunrise!

  10. Mary Beth

    I also like Silver Dawn, particularly with the mental image I get of the grey twilight before the sun properly comes up, and if it’s misty (or, hah, shimmering with Pure magic) the light really can look silver!

    Agreed with Sandstone that “mandala” has strong religious connotations for me that are much stronger in a title than in a context-laden paragraph. I would avoid it for that reason in addition to the three-syllable pattern break.

  11. Rachel

    Interesting about “mandala” picking up religious connotations to some readers.

    I think I encountered the word first in Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising series. Ever since, the term and the idea of a crossed circle have basically just signaled “probably a fantasy novel” to me. Later connotations apparently haven’t derailed that first impression.

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