(Past) time to do another of my explanatory detail posts on my books
It’s been a while since the Titles, Book 4 post, not to mention the others — and the Book 5 publication as well! — but I like writing these things. Detailing my influences and references, most of them musical, some philosophical, some just because they sound cool. So! On to the Book 5 titles…
The book title itself, The Bloodied Army, was shunted here from where it was originally intended on Book 4. This is definitely the better place for it, and adopting that title also informed a lot of the writing and editing I did with it — making the text more appropriate to the title itself. Book 5 was originally meant to be The Drowning Dark, but as mentioned in the previous post, they definitely worked better switched.
After all, a large part of Book 5 focuses on events in the Crimson Army camp, and that’s where the book ends as well. Punting The Drowning Dark as a title to book 4 also let me shift my B5 focus away from issues of the Dark (though it’s certainly still around) to issues of the army, the camp, the growing stress and violence, and the extended damage that the Empire has inflicted on its conquests and its own people. Plus *cough cough* an outside force or two.
All in all, a very bloody book in a variety of ways, so an appropriate title. It doesn’t contain any references except to the action itself, and the fact that some of the conquered people have called the Crimson ‘the bloody army’ before.
Moving on, I also have the story split, as usual, into two parts. As a continuing series, this gives me Part 9: Force Majeure, and Part 10: Legerdemain.
Force Majeure is a legal concept, used in contracts, which releases both parties from liability or obligation when a massive event such as a war, riot or epidemic occurs. This, notably, doesn’t include ‘acts of God’, which makes me snicker because of spoilery reasons. Suffice to say that I can use it for this Part but not any later one. Because of the events at the end of Book 4, both the Blaze Company and Shadow Folk are feeling that ‘massive event that breaks obligations’ vibe, and there are smaller such breaks (for various reasons) between other persons and groups within this Part.
After that comes Part 10: Legerdemain, or sleight of hand. Trickery and flourishes meant to deceive and conceal another purpose. Like the other Part titles, this tends to be an author’s-eye view of the situation and may not be reflected in individual characters’ stories. It’s more of just a hint that something is going on in the background and various people are being fooled.
And now for the chapter titles. Most of them in this book are references to things going on or places being visited. Others are song lyrics. A few are broader concepts or essentially required by the format I’ve been following. I keep a huge list of potential story/chapter/book titles, and slot them in wherever appropriate, but not everything can make the cut.
1: Winter Current — This is one of the most direct musical references, because I took it from the title of a song! System Syn – Winter Current to be exact. Because of how Book 4 ended, things are a bit grim and moody, and there are lingering attachments causing pain for certain characters. This is more a song for a certain character, not necessarily a theme of this chapter, but I liked the sound of it to start the book.
2: Du’i Oensha — This is a place-name for where the characters are headed, so a pretty simple title.
3: Blood Songs and Bone Music — A random brain-weasel of a title that I wrote down ages ago. Referencing some of the action in the chapter, but nothing beyond that.
4: Submission to Power, 5: Any Port In A Storm, 6: Hand In Glove, 7: Stars Underwater, 8: Salvagers –More obvious event-related ones. A lot more of those in this book than song lyrics.
9: Challengers — Simple enough title, it might seem, but this one was also borrowed from a song: The New Pornographers – Challengers. “We were the challengers of the unknown” / “Whatever the mess you are, you’re mine, okay”, among other lyrics, and the general vibe worked for the characters if not for the action.
10: Embracing the Knife — This one is a long-distance throwback to my teen years of obsessively watching anime and collecting character song CDs. The song in question is YU YU Hakusho – Koori No Naifu Wo Daite, or Embracing the Ice Knife. Basically, putting emotion and/or humanity aside to fight, while hoping that things will get better. My version is a little bit darker, but so it goes.
11: Dressed In Blood — Not from a song but from a book this time. I nicked this from Kendare Blake’s Anna Dressed In Blood, which is both a great teen book (vengeful ghosts!) and a good description of what goes on in this chapter.
12: House of Cards — Nothing to do with the TV show(s), but entirely on the adage about houses of cards being prone to structural instability. Certain characters are walking across very shaky foundations.
13: What Happened In Fellen, 14: The Void Inside, 15: Shards and Splinters, 16: Connections — More titles I liked and found relevant.
17: Contact — A self-explanatory title, but I would also point out Seabound – Contact, as certain characters are still having issues with their connections to other people and how they feel about their roles.
18: Private Wars, 19: The Pillar of the Sea, 20: Women’s Work, 21: At Home With Our Monsters, 22: Honey and Poison, 23: Blood Tide… Damn, looking at the list, almost all the rest of the chapters are direct action references too. Guess I didn’t do so much external referencing this time around. I’ll finish: 24: Beyond Vengeance, 25: Worst Enemies, 26: Upheaval.
27: Gate of Air — A callback to Cob’s tarot-type card reading in the very first book. There has been one Gate per book, and though I sort of sidelined the tarot card business, I’ve still been following his reading thematically. I’ll probably address that whole thing in a final post after Book 6.
28: Guardians and Ravagers — A final direct reference to what’s going on in the chapter. Also known as stabby shenanigans.
And lastly, the Coda — a concluding passage of a movement. This isn’t a conclusion at all, but several large events and themes have wrapped up, leaving us free to explore the final movement of the piece.
And that’s Book 5! Stay tuned for more of…whatever miscellaneous book-related information I happen to get out, and eventually the references and such for Book 6, The Eye of Night.