When Heroes Fall


One of the really nice things about traveling so much for work is that I have lots of thinking time. On the drive to/from the airport, I often get some tunes going and just think…usually about writing. A scene, the right name for a character, where the story is headed, etc.

I have been working off and on with writing the 5th book in the Burnt Mountain series while I also wrote the 4th, Rhyllia. I mean, if you’re going to fill your fire with irons, why not load ‘er right up?

I wanted a title for number 5 that would indicate the gravity of what was coming in the final installment. I have bumped off a character or two in each of the books, so I wasn’t going to change that now. I planned for things to take some nasty turns, and remove, in one way or another, some key characters.

I also didn’t want to do anything with the title like “The Final Chapter” or “The End” or whatever. So I generally knew what I wanted and what I didn’t want, but still didn’t have anything snappy come to mind. This has been an ongoing puzzle for many months.

I have had no idea what to call it up until now. I was listening to Imagine Dragons, a song called Warriors. I had wanted to come up with something with a warrior flavor to it for the book title like warrior, fight, battle, etc, but nothing fit…and then one did.

Finding THE book title is akin to breathing. Hold your breath until your lungs burn. When you take that next breath, the world is suddenly right. Breathing is perfect and fits with your overall life plan to continue living. I’m not sure how else to explain it. “When Heroes Fall” landed in my brain, it fit, it was perfect, it was like breathing another breath into a story previously only known as “The 5th Book”, which is about as crappy of a title as they come.

So with that, Burnt Mountain When Heroes Fall, finally has a name on the birth certificate for the final book in the series, and I can breathe easy again.

3 thoughts on “When Heroes Fall

  1. Joel D Canfield

    I like it. And while sometimes we have to grind out the “right” words, when they land in your lap unbidden (served up by an unconscious that’s been working overtime) it is as you say, as natural and important as breathing.

    1. Cheryl C Post author

      It always seems so easy when stuff falls in your lap, like “Why couldn’t I come up with that a long time ago?!” Which makes me wonder if the delay was because the unconscious wasn’t ready or if I wasn’t ready. Too much head scratching. I’ll still take the unbidden landings.

      1. Joel D Canfield

        Sometime we should talk about teaching your unconscious to find answers like this while you sleep. It’s very cool, and works more often than you might think.


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