I recently found a program that gives me word clouds (frequency of words) for book categories, drawing from book cover material (I think). Ostensibly this should help me write descriptions that both fit my books and include words people use to search for books. The tops words are pretty boring—set, chronicles, complete, boxed, paperback, trilogy, duology (I had to look this one up, “pair of related books, plays, films.” Of course there are many based on medieval times and royalty: kings, queens, dungeon, thrones. Rise, rule, and house can also fit here.
But some words definitely fit my Braided Dimensions series: sorcerors (#11), minds (#16), dragons (#46 – I thought it’d be higher), magic (#47), wizard (#51). A few I think are recently invented: legendborn, stormlight, fablehaven. Appealing! We’re advised, “Don’t describe your book. Excite people about your book.” I think these fit with that strategy.
I like elemental ones like elemental, sea, sun, midnight, stars, lunar, above, winter, fire, wolves, also alpha.
Eye. World. Wheel. Immortal. Secrets. Darkest. Keeper. Keeper of darkest secrets? I’m feeling inspired.
Girl (no woman?—is fantasy mostly YA now?), fairest (what year is this? Are there a lot of new fairytales out there?). Cinder. Fable. Baking? That’s a surprise! Maybe it goes along with fables.
Archive makes me think of alchemy and Patrick Rothfuss. I like scholarly themes in fantasy—the magical tome, as in Kate Elliott’s Crown of Stars series. Similarly, instruments. Golden Compass? Are they enumerating according to book sales, counting a single book multiple times for these numbers? By the same token, are allegient, insurgent and witcher there because so many writers are comparing their books to popular ones?
Cerulean, scarlet—I guess blue and red are boring. Contempt—more dramatic than, say, disdain. Firewall – is that like a wall of fire, or a computer situation? Way. So simple but it could be The Way of the Wolves. Cress? Seriously? The plant? How could that be a common word in fantasy novels? And how did it get top billing as an enticing book description? I mean I like. I’m just surprised.
We have a single witchy word: coven.
In one list, blood is #7. When I saw it near elves, I thought about how differently elves are treated now, since they’ve become common in comics and graphic novels. It kinds of hurts to see the constant warring now associated with them. I’m still partial to Tolkien’s depiction. In the Nine Worlds of Nordic mythology, Elves dwell in Lightalfheim (literally light-elf-home), along with plants, tree spirits and birds. Elementally, this is the realm of air and light, the world associated with Frey, Lord of the Vanir. Its guardian is the elf, Delling, who’s associated with sunrise. Come on. Can’t anything stay a little sacred?
Trial makes sense. There can be many kinds of trial. Defensive. Scars. A character with scars can be intriguing.
All the above are from a search for “Fantasy books for adults.”
A search for “fantasy series” produced many of the same terms but some different: city, ash, dune, games and hunger (hmmm…), borrowers, adventures, glass, prison, keys, plague, shadow, grip (in the grip of …), born, snakes, songbirds, catching, dance, crows, feast, clash, enchanted.
In this search I also found the Smoke and Bone kind of theme: heavenly, souls, lost, angels, fallen, sanctuary, divine, mortal, demon, baptism—kind of along the Lucifer, spiritual-supernatural lines.
I hope this was interesting to you. I’d love to hear what words among these capture your interest.