Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Remember When . . . I Needed an Adjective?

I mentioned this briefly last week, when I was sharing the bling for my Ladies of the Manor Series. ;-) But I'd like to find a new adjective to describe my last heroine for the series.

In book 1, we have The Lost Heiress. "Lost" describes what Brook has been for too long...and what she fears being known as by the populace at large. At one point there's an exchange that goes something like this (I'm paraphrasing myself, LOL).

Brook - "That's what they'll all know me as now. 'The lost heiress.'"
Justin - "You are an heiress, Brook. You can't expect them not to notice."
Brook - "But for too long I was just...lost."

Love being able to work my titles in. ;-) 
This photo of Emma Watson is what I sent to Bethany House
as my inspiration for Rowena. Can't wait to see the model they choose for her!

In book 2, Rowena is most assuredly The Reluctant Duchess. She doesn't want to marry the hero but has little choice. To her own mind, she doesn't know how to be a duchess--or at least, not his duchess. She has been brought up to inherit a Highland earldom (women could inherit titles in Scotland), but Brice, the Duke of Nottingham, belongs to a fashionable set that have always entertained themselves by poking fun at Rowena with her "backwards, backwater ways." Reluctant...aye, to say the least.

So you see, both adjectives for the first 2 books appeal to the characters' fears. Their insecurities. The thing they have to overcome.

At the moment, the adjective I gave Bethany House for my third heroine, Ella, is waiting...but it's not quite right, and my editor invited me to come up with some alternatives as I'm writing it. I'd love some suggestions!

Because waiting is one of her strengths, not her fear. Not that I have to do a fear exactly, but I'd like a stronger, more compelling word. Of course, first you have to know a bit about Ella and her circumstances.

http://www.periodimages.com/-/galleries/victorian/gezzi-1/-/medias/b9637ac0-acca-11e3-a54c-329e81129ea7
This shot from the fabulous PeriodImages.com is such a great Ella
(used with permission - click on photo for link)

Ella is an optimist. Not just your run-of-the-mill optimist, but an Olympic-medal-worthy optimist. It's her sport, her event, her defining characteristic. When shadows come in her life--and trust me, they have--she clings all the tighter to faith and to the deep-set belief that God will work out even this. Then she goes and falls in love with who everyone in her life deems the wrong man.

He's got a past--a selfish one. His first marriage was for money, pure and simple, and everyone is convinced his chose his heiress-wife because she was sickly and would soon die, leaving him free to pursue someone else. The worst part? Everyone's right. In part. But he's changed through his marriage, through his wife's death, and now through raising a child on his own. He's changed...but he's still learning. And from his eyes, the world's a pretty hopeless place, especially when old, ill-chosen friends show up at his door and threaten his daughter if he doesn't help them commit a crime...against Ella.

He warns her away--she doesn't listen. He claims he doesn't care about her--she knows well he means the opposite. The more he pushes, the tighter she holds to what she knows in her heart is true. He needs her, and she needs him.

What one word can convey that? The "lady" part of the title will likely stay put, as it's the only suitable word to describe her. As the daughter of a duke (now the sister of one, since her brother has inherited), Ella has no title of her own, just the courtesy "Lady Ella." She is, quite simply, a lady. So let's focus on the adjective. Something that might speak to her fears, but which harkens to the challenge she faces--and in this case, most likely to the quality that helps her overcome it.

I've toyed with:

Hopeful
Relentless
Persistent
Unshakeable
Steadfast
Tenacious
Unyielding
Constant

Do you like any of those? Or do you have other suggestions???

26 comments:

  1. Perhaps an optimist has to fight so much more for the most positive outcome; their heights of optimism soaring much higher than others, because deep underneath their fear is that selfishness (or whatever negative force), could actually wound or defeat her purposes. Her purposes are not connected to anything obligated by a title, no other title than the grace that crowns her. Grace is her crown. It's her power, her victory. For she gives even when its not deserved. Grace is both her strength and her vulnerability.

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    1. So, hmmm. The Grace of Lady Ella. The Grace of a Lady. A Most Gracious Lady. Hmmm. Resolute? From you list I live unshakeable best. An Unshakeable Lady. The Strength of a Lady. Wow, titles are tough! Best wishes. Now, I can't wait to hear the final outcome!! :)

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    2. oops. from **your** list I **love** "unshakeable best....

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  2. I think steadfast or hopeful would be the most appropriate going on the descriptions you gave

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  3. I like persistent or steadfast--strong words to describe her never-give-up attitude. The story sounds fantastic!

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    1. Thank you, Lynda! I'm going to have a lot of fun with this book. =) Ella's optimistic take on life is much like mine...plus, it'll have a Russian spy. So you know--lots of fun. ;-)

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  4. I like "steadfast", but I also like the word "resolute". Love the pic you chose for Ella...she's a beauty!

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    1. Oo, "resolute" is a great word! Definitely going on my list. =) And isn't she pretty? I saw that photo when browsing through the site's galleries and had a "That's Ella!" moment. =)

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  5. Okay, for one: I am SO excited to read this series. Oh my word they sound fantastic.
    *ahem* I'm done fangirling.
    The adjective for Ella. That's definitely a tough one! I like "Persistent" but it doesn't quite flow right to me..."Steadfast" flows better and alludes both to her story and her character I think. :)

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    1. Please don't stop fangirling. ;-) LOL

      I do really like Steadfast. Definitely suits her and the story! Honestly, one of my only qualms is that I feel like I'm stealing it from Rachelle's series name, LOL. I know, I know. It's just a word. But... ;-)

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    2. I won't stop fangirling.
      If my humble opinion who loves both you & Rachelle & your stories...I say imitation's the highest form of flattery in regards to "Steadfast." And too, it's Rachelle's *series* name, not an actual book title as your's potentially could be. And I really don't think she'd mind a'tall. ;)

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  6. I'm trying to think of a title that would compel me to pick the book up.' Tenacious Lady' might. Steadfast wouldn't do it for me. 'The Graceful Lady' might. 'Lady of Patience'? Hopeful is okay. Persistent. Unyielding. Loyal. Devoted. Earnest. Faithful.

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    1. I'm really liking "Tenacious." Sounds spunky. =)

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  7. "Determined" "Bold" "Loyal" "Faithful" "Unyielding"

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    1. Rhythmically, I like "Unyielding" best from your list. =) Thanks, Laura!

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  8. I'm liking Unshakable Lady. The word unshakable can go so many ways, he can't get her to leave, the trials in life don't shake or break her, she can find a solution to any situation, and she shows her unshakable faith. Have fun with this one. I'm working on patience until you have them ready for me to read! Thanks for the work and the insights. Madelyn

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  9. "The Unyielding Lady" has the best rhythm, though I like "steadfast" best in terms of what you've described of her character. Actually, "The Relentless Lady" makes a good word pairing, though it evokes more of a bodice-ripping image.

    Are you sure there's no better option than Lady? It's a word that is used all the time to describe all manner of women, and I'm guessing that most American readers will NOT automatically jump to the conclusion that it refers to the British aristocracy. Does she qualify as a Noblewoman, or is there some other accurate but neutral term for a lady of quality that American readers will automatically peg as infinitely British or unquestionably aristocratic? Now here I go doing the one thing you asked us not to do . . .

    Regardless of the titles, I'm looking forward to reading them!

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    1. LOL. I'm not opposed to other words for Lady per se...but technically "heiress" doesn't scream British either. ;-) I do agree that "lady" is used for all sorts of females in book titles. I'm just not sure what else would fit. I'll ask my expert friends. ;-)

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  10. I like "The Constant Lady". It speaks of strength, but also (to me) vulnerability. When a person is constant by nature and / or habit, it can be really hard to know if and when to let go. But sometimes we have to let go and sometimes we only gain our heart's desire by letting go of lesser things, truths I imagine that even Ella is going to have to realise at some point. Plus, I think you have a nice positive-to-negative flow in your set of titles with "constant" - "lost" Book to "reluctant" Rowenna to "constant" Ella. So, yes, I vote for "The Constant Lady"! :)

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  11. I think either"The Relentless Lady" or "The Constant Lady" . After reading one comment about "flow in your set of titles", I'm leaning more towards " The Constant Lady".

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  12. When I was reading your background, the first thing that popped into my mind was "persistent". ;) I think either The Persistent Lady or The Tenacious Lady. Or The Steadfast Lady. :D

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  13. Hi Roseanna!

    I've been thinking about this the past few days, and I like "The Steadfast Lady." That word has a flavor of continual hope to me, and is also a reflection of the steadfastness of Jesus, in whom Lady Ella has faith. Additionally it brings to my mind the verse Psalm 18:2, "The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower."

    I look forward to discovering what you decide, and I am also excited about adding this series to my shelves! It's particularly inspiring that "The Lost Heiress" is the first book you ever wrote! :)

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