Monday, 6 July 2009

Writing a crime novel - the importance of titles

Like many other writers I 've fancied in the past writing some form of crime novel. Certainly I've read enough over the years but reading for pleasure and reading with an eye to learning are two different things.

At the moment I have a plot going through my head which I've tried writing last year but abandoned because I couldn't get the structure sorted.

Three books I've found helpful about writing thrillers are:
Patricia Highsmith, Plotting and Writing Suspense Fiction
Lesley Grant-Adamson, Writing Crime Fiction
K R F Keating, Writing Crime Fiction 2nd ed.

Just looking at Keating's book again today one thing struck me again is something I always emphasise to anyone I work with who is writing a work of non-fiction.

How important the title is.

Think of Chicken Soup for the Soul.

Would that have been so runaway popular if it was called Inspiring stories of everyday people?

Mr Keating talked about sometimes having two complete pages of his notebook of possible titles, trying to find one to stand out from the crowd.

I've always loved Mary Stewart's romantic thrillers with such great titles, Airs above the ground and Wildfire at Midnight. A little dated now maybe but I still enjoy reading them.

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