1. Agatha Christie

    Agatha Christie Contributing Member

    Jan 19, 2012
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    quandry over my novel title, and how it links to the plot

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Agatha Christie, Aug 28, 2012.

    My Novel title is INNOCENT MURDER, but the first murder occurs half way through the story. I have been told that if it is a murder story, the murder should come no further than 20 per cent through the story. Therefore I am thinking of changing the title to IMPERFECT PARTNERS. But I have also been advised that a story should keep the reader waiting; built up tension, expectation before major happenings.

    The trouble is I think the original title is more punchy. I would welcome any view on this problem. I cannot change the story....should I change the title?
  2. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

    Nov 30, 2006
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    Ohio, USA
    I don't see where the conficting bits of advice about when a murder should occur (20% in) and the other advice that says to keep the reader waiting and expecting major changes, thus the murder (one major point the story is building to?) happens 50% of the way through. I guess if it is intended to be a murder mystery, that would make a difference.

    Who do you consider your audience (type of reader, and their expectations for the novel). Is it a murder mystery, an action drama, a story about domestic drama leading to violence? What would the reader expectations be? Would the title fit the back of the book description you envision? Those questions, or similar ones might help as you decide which directio to go with the title.

    While a working title is important, if you find a publisher, the title may be changed anyway, so it's only a temporary concern--but an important one in that it must be a part of what interests and agent/editor. If you self-publish, you'll have that choice fully upon your shoulders.

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