Saturday, January 20, 2018

The Comp Title Challenge

Brains are busy places, you know. Many things go humming through them, here and there, to and fro, and so it stands to reason that occasionally brains suffer traffic jams. And sometimes brains with too many thoughts to think don't have room to squeeze in one more, and so, occasionally, at times, now and then, it is necessary to choose a simple topic to blog about.
Which is my roundabout way of saying that my pal Madeline J. Rose @ Short and Snappy invented another tag this week! And because my brain is busy sorting out some traffic jams, this tag is just the thing to make sure Adventure Awaits doesn't sit cold and forgotten today.

introducing the comp title challenge

What is a comp title, you ask? It's short for comparison title--you know, when authors, reviewers, and moviemakers throw other names around to try to describe their own creations. Here are some of Madeline's tips for comp titles (paraphrased):
  • Think about the genre of your story. Where and when does it take place?
  • You don't have to use the biggest names out there--in fact, it might be better if you don't.
  • Don't worry about describing your story perfectly. If you find something that you think describes it well, then great, but don't stress it. It's just a general idea.
And the challenge's guidelines:

  • Pick a few (or all!) of your WIPS!
  • Give them some comp titles!
  • Tag a few peoples if you wish!
  • Have fun!
(All following pictures via Pinterest.)


The Brightest Thread // Tales of Goldstone Wood meets Diana Wynne Jones meets the Auralia Thread

Tales of Goldstone Wood series by Anne Elisabeth Stengl: rich fantasy world and lyrical writing style. The latest book, Golden Daughter, works particularly well as a comp title because of the dream world stuff. Diana Wynne Jones: the bits of humor (I've only read Howl's Moving Castle, but still). The Auralia Thread series by Jeffrey Overstreet: the allegory and some of the political subplots.

The Prophet's Quest // Raising Dragons meets Narnia meets The Door Within

So this was my first novel ever, and thinking up comp titles was incredibly easy since my work was heavily influenced by a few certain books. Raising Dragons by Bryan Davis: his human/dragon offspring characters are a lot like my characters turning into dragons. Narnia: hello, new fantasy world! The Door Within by Wayne Thomas Batson: my Captain Dauntless (in charge of the dragon army) sounds an awful lot like Captain Valithor, a general who likes to SHOUT INSULTS IN ALL CAPS.

The Prophet's Key // Narnia meets Mission Impossible meets Storm Siren meets the Dragonkeeper Chronicles

Yes, I am aware that sounds like a strange combination. Narnia: again, there is a world besides our own. Mission Impossible: only because there are chase scenes in various parts of our world, not because of any spy missions or gadgetry. Storm Siren by Mary Weber: elementals. And the Dragonkeeper Chronicles by Donita K. Paul: because Wizard Fenworth was a big inspiration for my crazy wind Shifter named Wimwhile.


Mirrors Never Lie // How to Train Your Dragon meets A Time to Die

HTTYD (the movie): Viking/Norse elements. A Time to Die by Nadine Brandes: solely for the intensity of the main character's inner journey. I suppose I could throw Snow White in there with the other titles, but being a Snow White retelling, that should be obvious.

Blood Rose // Illusionarium meets . . . something medical?

Illusionarium by Heather Dixon: No steampunkiness here, but the plague in that book reminds me ever so slightly of the medical aspect of my story. I really can't think of any comp titles that fit this Beauty and the Beast retelling. It's modern day, takes place solely between two characters in a mansion in the woods, and has a light touch of sci-fi/fantasy/something. If songs work as comp titles, I would readily say Salvation by Skillet!

The Glass Girl // Gail Carson Levine meets Dragon Slippers

For this Cinderella retelling, I'm not entirely happy with these comp titles either. Gail Carson Levine: simple, sweet fairy tales. Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George: something about the medieval city setting reminds me of my story.


Welcome to Absurdity // Eyes Wide Open meets The Dark Unwinding meets Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

You guys have no idea how excited I am to start this novel one day! The idea has been stewing in my head for years. Eyes Wide Open by Ted Dekker: unsuspecting allegory and a mental asylum. The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron: the aesthetic. I don't know how else to say it--it's just the feel of the setting, despite being the wrong time era. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs: unusual characters and creepiness. (Man, I really want to start writing this someday soon . . .)

Untitled // Indiana Jones meets Ranger's Apprentice

Indiana Jones: artefacts and tombs and traps. Ranger's Apprentice series by John Flanagan: good ol' high fantasy and weapons and rollicking adventures. I just really feel like a fantasy Indy would be a ton of fun to write about.

Well, that was fun! And good practice for future querying as well. I think we can conclude that I have a hard time sticking to the traditional two comp titles per story! What about you, if you write? How would you compare your work-in-progress story? Do any of these tales pique your interest? And if you like, consider yourself tagged!




    also sorry for yelling in all caps haha

    1. YAY! ISN'T IT FUN??? And a great way to force myself to practice comparing my WIPs to published works. ;D


  2. These are so fun! My books are so weird that I feel like this exercise would be REALLY hard. Like, you have no idea. XD yours and Madeline’s have been so clean and easy-sounding. I’m jealous. XD

    1. I actually had to wrack my brain on a few of these, despite appearances! The fairytale retellings were particularly hard to describe, since they have a comp title already built in. XD You could always list some comps and make amendments--"it's like this meets this, except not, and with a little bit of this and a smidgen of that!" It's fun to at least try! XD

  3. WHAT A FUN TAG!!! And kudos to you for managing to come up with comparison titles. I'm always SO bad at that!

    I 100% agree with the TBT one. Especially compared to Goldstone Wood and Auralia's Colors. Absolutely! It has that whimsical fairytale feel of the Goldstone Wood books and gorgeous prose both those books and Auralia's Colors have. YES!

    The more and more I hear about your fantasy series, the more and more I NEEDS IT! Raising Dragons meets Narnia meets The Door Within? 3 OF MY FAAAVES! And the comparisons for The Prophet's Key sounds SO. FUN!!! What an epic mix. I looove stories that are strange combinations of things! That's what makes a story unique. I MUST READ THIS SERIES! *FLAILS*

    And Mirrors Never Lie is like HTTYD and A Time to Die? GIRL. You come up with the coolest combinations!

    I would have never thought of it, but Blood Rose IS a lot like Illusionarium. I can totally see that! Otherwise I can't come up with any other books to compare it to either. Proof of the Tracey genius, coming up with such unique stories.

    The Glass Girl sounds so pretty. GIMME ALLLLL THE FAIRYTALES.

    OKAY. I know you've mentioned Welcome to Absurdity here and there, but now seeing more about it just-- I NEED DISSSSSSS!!! It sounds so delightfully creepy and intriguing and and and YOU MUST WRITE IT BECAUSE I MUST READ IT!!!!!!

    A fantasy Indiana Jones? :O :O :O I can't recall you ever mentioning this one (then again, my memory is useless). But AAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!! THAT IS BRILLIANT! I AM IN LOVE WITH THIS IDEA!

    What have we learned here? Tracey comes up with the best story ideas EVER!

    This was so fun! Thank you for sharing with us! :D

    1. Isn't Madeline a genius? :D Haha, I had to really wrack my brain for some of them, and some I don't even think WORK all that well...but it was a lot of fun!

      Awww, you! <333 I aspire to write like Stengl and Overstreet (and so many others; I could go on and on), so that makes me so happy to hear!

      TPQ and TPK keep popping up in my thoughts with little nudges and slips of ideas, so I know I'll return to that series someday--and that means you might get to read it someday too. ;) Thank you for all the excitement!

      LOL, the Mirrors Never Lie comp titles some of the ones that maybe don't fit perfectly--but I'm glad you like it! XD

      Really? :O That was another one I wasn't sure about, but oddly it kind of sort of works?? D'awww, you're so sweet.

      It's SUCH A MESS. But one day!!!!

      I NEED TO WRITE WELCOME TO ABSURDITY SO BAAAAAD. Honestly, I'm very tempted to make it my next WIP once The Brightest Thread is out making its rounds in the world of literary agents...but you didn't hear that from me. ;) Anyway, I'm absolutely delighted that you're looking forward to it!

      I don't think I've ever mentioned a fantasy Indiana Jones to anyone outside my family before, so your memory is fine! XD

      Again, you're so sweet and encouraging--thank you! <3

  4. This is such a fun post, Tracey! :)) Now I really want to read your books and WIPs...especially "Welcome to Absurdity" :)).

    1. Glad you enjoyed it, Allison! :D Awww, thank you. I hope some of these WIPs will end up on bookshelves one day! ;)

  5. I've actually never read the Auralia Thread or Diana Wynne Jones, but The Brightest Thread did remind me of some of the Tales of Goldstone Wood books!
    "I just really feel like a fantasy Indy would be a ton of fun to write about." Sounds like something fun to read about as well!

    1. I highly recommend the Aurelia Thread! DWJ too, but so far I've only read Howl's Moving Castle, which was wonderful. Really? Oh, that makes me happy! ^_^

      Haha, I sure hope so!

  6. That picture of an eye with the hands inside it is rather creepy.

    Ahem. This tag is interesting, but I doubt I'd be able to do it. It's not that my books aren't like anything else. I just got stuck reading genres I don't write for a long time.

    Totally unrelated, but have you read The Gamage Cup by Carol Kendall?

    1. I thought so too. *shivers*

      That does happen! I read genres that are nothing like what I write, so then it can be hard to make comparisons.

      I've heard of it but never read it! Is it good?

    2. Alongside Chronicles of Narnia and The Lord of the Rings, it was my favorite Fantasy book series(it has a couplet? Do two books make a series?) growing up. I don't remember why I liked them, but I liked them enough to own them and give them as a gift to a friend.

    3. Well, that's a great sign right there! (I guess duology would be another term? I'm so conflicted about those two-book series. XD) I'll have to look into them. :D

  7. I've never 'met' Indiana Jones, but the idea of [what I've heard of] his character in a world like Ranger's Apprentice - yes, please??

    (also the picture for Welcome to Absurdity is super creepy?? does the story involve people within eyes?? O.O)
    - Jem Jones

    1. *squeals* That makes me even MORE excited to write that book one day! I watched the Indy movies for the first time a year or two ago. In some ways they were pretty cheesy (looking at you, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull!) but also a lot of classic fun. I just love the idea of putting that kind of globetrotting, puzzling, racing action in a fantasy world rich with history!

      (LOL, right??? The story actually has nothing to do with people within eyes--at least, I don't think it does...I haven't plotted it out yet--but the picture captures the MOOD I'm going for. XD)

  8. D'AWW YOU DID MY CHALLENGE. *is greatly pleased and gives you cookies and milk*

    Oh my gosh, Tracey, these all sound AMAZING. And I totally agree about The Brightest Thread comp title! It fits really well!! :D

    I LOVE the Mirrors Never Lie, Welcome to Absurdity, and Blood Rose titles! SO AWESOME!

    And that last one, wow. I NEED IT LIKE I NEED AIR. XD

    1. I DID AND IT WAS SUCH FUN! *is greatly pleased by the milk and cookies*

      You're so sweet--thank you! <3333

      And thank you again! I think those titles turned out pretty well. The fairytale retellings were SO HARD because they're already (insert fairytale) meets (whatever twist I put on it). XD


  9. Oh wow, this looks like fun. Let's see... some of my WIPs

    League of Thieves- The Mummy meets Heroes of Olympus meets Six of Crows meets the Forbidden Wish...
    The Mummy since some characters may or may not be loosely (or not so loosely) based off the characters from that movie plus there is a monster. Heroes of Olympus was the original inspiration for this story with a team of teenagers working together. Six of Crows, I've never actually read it, but the premises are similar: a bunch of misfits who have acquired a certain skill set team up. The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury: because they both have jinnis

    A Winter Dark and Deadly- Snow White meets The Hobbit meets Snow White and the Huntsman and Huntsman Winter's War...
    Snow White: of course since it's the sequel to my short story Winter Cursed so it has all the Snow White elements of a mirror, prince, princess, and seven dwarfs. The Hobbit: many of my dwarfs are based off of that of the Hobbit and when creating my world, I was trying to use the same style Tolkien did. Snow White and the Huntsman: again, Snow White, plus the dark fantasy element. Huntsman Winter's War: the ice magic.

    My Time in Amar- Narnia meets Percy Jackson meet Unblemished
    Narnia: because four teenagers are transported to another world. Percy Jackson: for the lighthearted feel and the teenagers going on a dangerous quest with lots of monsters. Unblemished by Sara Ella: again, the going to another world from the normal modern one, finding out that you have a legacy there... etc

    Your stories sound so interesting (love the idea for a fantasy Indiana Jones!)

    1. I like the titles of your stories--and their comp titles too! ;D

      A teenaged team in a story involving monsters and jinnis sounds like a lot of fun. I love team stories! That might explain my deep love for the Avengers, come to think of it...

      ALL THE SNOW WHITE TITLES! XD It's kind of inevitable! But I can definitely see the Tolkien influence in your dwarves.

      Again, another world with a dangerous quest and a bunch of friends sounds so cozy and enjoyable. I'm such a sucker for Narnia-type stories. <3

      Thanks, Nicki!!!

  10. Ooooo! I love this! I'm swiping this tag! Anything with Peculiar Children as a comp title is something I want to read. ^ ^

    1. Isn't it fun? I can't wait to see what you come up with for yours! LOL, thank you. That story idea has been burning a hole in my proverbial pocket for a couple of years--it's itching to get out!