What’s in a name?

I’m currently debating changing the name of a major, albeit non-speaking, character in the manuscript my agent is about to begin marketing.  This is something I’ve been considering for more than a year, so this isn’t last minute scrambling and tweaking (well, it is, but the decision has been floating around my brain for a while now).  It’s a big change because I’m also changing the name of the book.  To the name of this character.  Changing the name of a character is a very weighty decision, but knowing I’m changing this name to the title of the book is huge.  Can this character carry it?  Will this change people’s expectation of the plot once they’re introduced to the character, knowing that is the title of the book.  To be fair, the title also refers to a few other things, not just this character, but it still could have a major ripple effect.  On paper, all it is is changing one two-page scene and doing a search and replace on the old name and new name, but in terms of the spirit of the book and people’s reaction to it, it’s so, so much more.

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