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Rhetoretician -- Fiction etc.

New Title Needed

New Title Needed

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I'm working on a revision of Plans, Executions and Results before giving it to

bandcandy  for beta-review, and I've decided that I hate the title.  It's too abstract, it's insufficiently dramatic, and it doesn't convey anything like the real feeling.  I've come up with a bunch of possible titles.


Here they are so far:

In a Concrete Room
A Small Room with One Door
A Concrete Room with One Exit
A Small Room with One Exit
A Small Room with One Way Out
Two Men in a Concrete Room
A Problem with No Solutions
Out of Options
Finding the Only Solution
Finding the Only Way Out
Calculating the Only Way Out
The Way Out of a Room with No Way Out
No Way Out, But a Solution
No Way Out, But an Answer
No Solutions, But an Answer
Concrete Solutions

I like concrete titles rather than abstract ones, and I like to convey some of the feeling of the story if I can.  Here, the significant issues are (1) F & G try to find a way to escape, but there is none; (2) F & G decide to die valiantly even though they believe those deaths are useless and will achieve nothing; (3) their valiant deaths really do achieve something, because they save James & Lily and allow Harry to be born, thus winning the war.  So on the one hand, the title might convey the hopelessness of their situation, or it might convey the valor of their choice, or it might convey the unexpected hopeful result.

I'd appreciate your thoughts and opinions on the subject, including any preferences among the above or any other or different titles you might suggest.

  • I like shorter titles. How about (stolen shamelessly from your suggestions):

    The Only Way Out
    One Exit
    The Final Exit

    Or, longer and probably giving too much away:

    Losing the Battle, but Winning the War
  • I like all of rosathome's suggestions. How about:

    Finding the Exit
    Exit Strategy

    I think those tie together points 1 and 3, and 2 somewhat as well.
  • I prefer Finding the Way Out, or The Only Way Out. It fits what they have to do.
  • I read you story. It was quite harrowing and quite action-packed. The despair embedded in their struggle was so true-to-life. Heroes don't have an easy job of it.

    I've been thinking about a title and I think you could play with the numbers - as Gideon and Fabian did. Perhaps something like:

    Five Death Eaters, Two Brothers, and One Chance.
    • Hi Mary. Thanks for taking time out of the rush to finish NZC (not to mention your dishwasher) to comment on the story.

      Yes, I was also trying to think of a way of getting numbers into it. The numbers started out as merely a way of differentiating Fabian from Gideon, but maybe it could be more of an overarching theme. (But if so, the question is how to get it into the James & Lily sequence.)
      • LOL - I'm just taking a break. And it's fun to think about a story I'm not responsible for. :)

        The 'one chance' is Harry - but maybe you could come up with a better way to point to the hope at the end.
  • I'm not in the league of all you author types. All I could think of was "Heroes Don't Always Win", but that's pretty lame. I dunno. Your point #2 is that they die a 'valiant' death, because they strive their utmost to protect their loved ones when most people would just take the easy way out. That's heroic, and that's what I have on my brain at the moment while thinking of your story.

    Maybe bung the adjective 'heroic' in some of those options - 'No Way Out, But a Heroic Solution'? Just my half a cent.
    • I dunno, Brad; "Heroes Don't Always Win" has possibilities, it seems to me. I've tended to shy away from high-symbol words like "hero", and focus more on low-symbol, concrete words like "counting", because it makes me more curious when I see a title like that. But still...
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