1. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    I need a title and tagline.

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Ryan Elder, Aug 1, 2015.

    I am an aspiring screenplay writer and I need a title and tagline for my script and just wanted to ask other people's opinions on what they thought was best.

    The story is about a serial rapist killer who became that way for suffering being bullied and treated and inferior while growing up, because he is autistic. He is smart enough to beat the police and he ends up raping the cop who is investigating who the killer may be. The cop gets away and wants revenge on the rapist himself, and in so doing, things go wrong and he ends up being the one bullied and persecuted because of it.

    That's the premise in a nutshell but can but's what a good way to condense that down to one line to sell it?

    Also for a title for this type or premise, I have two so far. "Psychopolis" and "The Madness Never Stops Policy". Do either of those titles work well, or do I need a different one entirely?

    Thanks for the input :).
     
  2. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Oh, for...

    No. Just no.
     
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  3. Elena Schmetterling
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    Elena Schmetterling Member

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    So - the man kills rapists? Or is he a rapist serial killer? :confused:
    I think Psychopolis is alright, but then again if he's autistic, that's something you wouldn't really want to give the "psycho" label...
     
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  4. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Okay thanks. The MC is after the rapist villain. The villain goes after women he despises because of how he was treated. As for giving the psycho label, it also applies to the MC as well, since he becomes violent and out of control in order to succeed in his revenge as well. So I am not just applying the label to the villain, but if it's a problem, is the other title better?

    Even though the idea sounds distasteful, I don't intend it to be that way. It's kind of like how in Silence of the Lambs for example, you have a serial killer with mental problems and it causes him to commit his crimes. Sensitive subject matter, but not intended to be offensive.
     
  5. Elena Schmetterling
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    Elena Schmetterling Member

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    Probably best to make up another one.
     
  6. tupbup
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    tupbup Member

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    Just wondering how much you have researched autism for this premise. I have only limited experience (knowing only one person diagnosed with it) but due to lack of social understanding and severe OCD I doubt that person would ever interact with someone they didn't know let alone perform sexual acts on them. If this is universal throughout all people with autism then it might create a plot hole.
     
  7. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Well I myself am autistic. I grew up with similar experiences as the villain, but never wanted to rape or kill anyone. However, I did go threw a lot of anger, shame, loneliness and resentment because of it. I feel that the character is similar to my experience, and although I do not agree with what he does, nor would I ever do such things, I am able to see how it could possibly lead to such things with a person.

    Can I my own experiences count, even though I have felt anger and resentment, towards other people, but did not want to commit any harm to anyone? I mean there are times when I felt like I wanted to hit someone in the face, but didn't. For the villain I just have it so he takes it a lot further.

    I mean they tell writers that they should 'write what you know', and in this case, I feel it's sort of what I did, accept for the being turned into a mass murderer part of the character of course.
     
  8. tupbup
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    tupbup Member

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    Of course your own experiences count. You must have a different type of autism to the person that I know and a quick google told me that autism is a generalised term that covers many many kinds of developmental disorders. I'm sorry that you grew up with bullying. People can be so cruel sometimes.

    Also a quick google of autism and criminal behaviour threw up some scholarly articles that you might find interesting. Particularly if your MC manages to catch the killer as there might be some issues about someone with a psychological/developmental disorder being able to stand trial etc.

    As you said in an earlier reply it is a sensitive subject and with the research that is going into it at the moment there is a potential audience there if the story is handled well.

    --

    Below is a study on a man who committed serial sexual homicide that might be worth a read for you. He had a form of Asperger's.

    http://www.murderpedia.org/male.D/images/dahmer-jeffrey/docs/jeffrey-dahmer-silva-et-al.pdf
     
  9. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Okay thanks. Another person from my experience is my brother. Not to pry too much into his personal life, but he has also felt the same shame and resentment as me growing up, going to the same schools and all. But with him it became worse. Because of his anger and bitterness, it became too bad, and he lost his job, and had to go see a specialist and be put on medication. So he has it even worse, and I also used him when trying to relate to the character I created. I don't mean to exploit my bro or myself when it comes to writing entertainment, I am just trying to write what I know.

    I am looking at the article now. Thanks for the input. If you have any other suggestions, please let me know. What if I didn't use the words autism and rape in the tagline, and instead stuck to being persecuted and revenge? The only thing is, is that the audience is given a vague, perhaps even roundabout tagline as a result?
     
  10. AspiringNovelist
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    AspiringNovelist Contributing Member

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    Dear Sir,

    Your experiences aside, as terrible as they may have been -- you're asking us (as potential readers) to vet your story.

    I don't see it...

    But let's answer your questions:

    Title: "Psychopolis" <-- means nothing to me and if I saw it on a bookstand or Amazon, I wouldn't grab it. As a movie producer I might read a little? Are you agented? You do realize as a screenplay writer your target audience of millions of fiction readers went to a hundred of hard-nosed business men...who might get to your little tale in 3 to 5 years!

    "The Madness Never Stops Policy" <-- sound governmental. I'd pick it up, check the front and back, then read the led (yes led) in...But once I figured out it's not governmental, I'd put it down.

    Au = Gold. I would then turn your story into one title: "Gilt." A double entrendre for guilt and the "au" in autism. G i L T is the perfect name for your work.

    ****

    Ryan, I've dealt with you in the past, and from a readers point of view... Readers want certain things in the books they read. No one that I know of wants to read about an autistic man who rapes someone and gets away with it. That concept is counter to everything we (Americans) hold value to. It''s not something that would sell.

    Now, If you want to write a memoir, that's a whole different animal.

    You should do a bit of research to find where your style of writing and thoughts match markets.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2015
  11. tupbup
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    tupbup Member

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    I might be wrong but I thought tag lines were generally vague anyway. They should entice the reader to pick up the book and read the blurb (or click on more details if we consider the online marketplace too). Is the tagline not what goes under the title on the cover of the book? If your MC is the policeman then I would focus on his role in the story for your tagline rather than the killer. Something to do with the blurring of his roles when he switches from investigator to victim to attacker and then victim again.

    I just realised you have further sensitive issues of male rape, bullying and persecution of someone who got raped, and vengeance.

    This story is a minefield and no doubt very emotional to read!

    As for your title I think that would depend on what aspect of the story you are focusing on. Is it the killer? The swapping of roles? Bullying? The policeman?

    I'm thinking maybe... Title: Persecuted. Tag: They wouldn't let him go.

    Could apply to both the killer or the policeman. Maybe there's a potential to draw a link between the two and show there's not much difference between their reactions to bullying regardless of their mental health.
     
  12. AspiringNovelist
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    AspiringNovelist Contributing Member

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    In Hollywood, everything is vague. It's not the very best writers who get and make appointments. It's about who you know - and - who they know. Who got blow, and who got blown. In Hollywood, everything is in a daze.
     
  13. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Okay thanks. However in my story, the villain does not get away with it. He does at first but he goes down in the end, and justice prevails if that helps.

    As far as what aspect the story is concentrating on, it's really the investigating itself I would say. Not the villain, bullying or the MC so much as the investigation, if that makes sense.

    As far as the title Persecuted goes, it sounds pretty generic to me. If others prefer it though, I will gladly go with it something like that :).
     
  14. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi,

    I'm still very confused by who your protag is. From what I can gather he's a serial rapist who hunts down killers? Or he's someone who hunts down serial rapists and kills them? But who then rapes a cop who is also hunting the killer?

    The only title for that that I can think of is "Disturbed."

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  15. tupbup
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    tupbup Member

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    Pick something you are happy with, it's your story after all. :)
     
  16. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Okay thanks. The villain is a serial rapist and killer who goes after people who believes deserves to be raped and killed because of how they treat other people.

    The main character is a cop that is raped by the villain and wants revenge on him and hunts him down. He is the protagonist. Is it explained any better?
     
  17. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi,

    Yes, thanks. Could I then suggest something along the lines of "Hunting Darkness". "Chasing Shadows" might work well too. Alternatively if it's more of a fight than a hunt - "Shadowboxing" would seem to fit.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
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  18. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I still have major issues with your story, but the phrase 'the lesser of two evils' comes to mind.
     
  19. Adenosine Triphosphate
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    Adenosine Triphosphate Old Scratch Contributor

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    There's a part of me that appreciates it, since (high-functioning) autism currently seems to occupy the same "magical smart people syndrome" box as ADHD. I've often thought about pitting an autistic protagonist against a sort of corrupted sufferer similar to his villain, although I wouldn't personally go in the rapist direction. But it's his story.
     

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