Your Call: New Working Title

For over a year, I've been using the working title Joey Stone for my next project. The name came from a short story I wrote about a powerful psionic-in-training believed guilty of treason like his father.

Unfortunately, that title and storyline is 100% obsolete. So I need a new working title, one that does as much of the following as possible (in order of importance): (1) makes you want to know more about the story, (2) conveys a sense of the world, (3) conveys a sense of the plot.

I know that's totally subjective and that there's no perfect title that does all three really well. Clearly, in situations like this, the best thing to do is to use an unscientific online poll:

I'd like you to vote without any more knowledge of the story, so please vote before reading on. If after reading the blurb below you change your mind, or think you have a better title than the options above, feel free to say so in the comments:

Suriya thought she'd hid her powers pretty well, until a group of Chinese bounty hunters comes after her. She escapes using her ability to call fire, but the fire gets out of her control and destroys an entire Chiang Mai city block. Even worse, now everybody knows what she is.

More bounty hunters come, but Suriya finds unexpected help from a woman named Charity.
They don't speak the same language, but Suriya understands when Charity speaks directly into her mind. She says Suriya is one of the Cunning - a group of people born with fantastic abilities. Charity wants to take her to the US where she can be trained.

Suriya wants to trust Charity, but when she overhears her speaking with the bounty hunters in Chinese, she wonders if Charity is telling the truth. She wonders if she can really trust anybody.


SM Blooding said...

This sounds awesome! I definately still like "Cunning Folk" as the title. Very punny. I like puns and play on words.

I like the story idea! Whoooo!

fairyhedgehog said...

Suriya sounds like fantasy and The Cunning sounds more like horror or science fiction. I voted for Suriya before seeing the blurb and I think I still prefer that slightly. I was least keen on Cunning Folk.

MattyDub said...

I don't love any of them. How about "Suriya and the Half-Blood Cunning"? Or "Cunning: A Chaste Vampire Love Story"? Maybe follow on the recent trend with "Pride and Prejudice and Cunning"? Or how about just "Suriya I: The Firestartening"?

OK, jokes aside, I actually didn't really care for any of these. I thought "The Cunning" was the least bad, but "Suriya" was kinda ok.

MattyDub said...

Sorry, I should say that I was only talking about the title. The story sounds fun.

Adam Heine said...

Thanks, all you guys. Also remember that this is just a working title - something short I can fit in the sidebar and use for reference here and on Twitter and stuff. The real title won't be decided until I start to query.

Paul said...

So, it seems like I'm a little late to the game, but I concur with fairyhedgehog. Now that's a statement that I never thought would come up.

Anyway Suriya is obviously a character name and sounds sci-fi/fantasy. It doesn't express much about the plot ...other than the fact that it involves a character named Suriya, but I still liked this choice better than the others. The name is original enough that its a bit of a hook on its own.

The Cunning sounds like a Stephen King title, and is my last choice.

Cunning Folk seems like it has a hook, touches on the plot, and "folk" implies a certain type of voice and setting, but it just doesn't sit right for some reason I can't put my finger on. Sorry I can't explain this better.

To follow on to Mattydub's comment, I would like to submit for consideration: Suriya and the Cunning Factory

writtenwyrdd said...

Based on the blurb and having seen title trends on the bookshelves lately, I'd suggest something with fire or flame in it. But of your suggested titles, I'd use The Cunning.

Adam Heine said...

Based on these comments, I think the real title will have to have the word "Firestartening" in it. Or maybe just because I like the word "Firestartening".


Adam Heine said...

Suriya, the Firestartener
Suriya, Flame Girl
Flaming Suriya

...gosh this is fun.

MattyDub said...

I think I had a Flaming Suriya at the bar the other night.