Thursday, August 02, 2007

Complete Loss

I'm at a complete loss for what to blog about today. Quite frankly, I just don't have two thoughts in my head other than I have to get dressed and I really need coffee. I think that just about fills up my mind.

I stayed up late last night working on the new wip. I'm only one chapter in, but I edited a bit so that took longer and my initial working on a book is always a slow start because of all the French names. It takes me forever to pick suitable names in my books. And when you're talking about naming people, cities and in this case, a house, that's a lot of research and decision. My friend, Jaye Wells, blogged about names the other day, and it got me to thinking again about how my characters were sort of no one at the moment.

I started writing the same as usual - without any names. It goes something like this: (heroine) jumped out of her car and waved at (best friend) who was talking to (sheriff).

Then when I decide on something, I come back and put them in. It's almost like I need to see what kind of people I'm writing about before I can decide on a name for them. Unfortunately, it's harder to write with no names so the name choosing has to happen sooner than later. I've found one chapter is about my limit before I need to decide on something.

Then there's times when I'm halfway into a book and realize that my secondary characters (are even smaller) all have similar names or names that start with the same initial and I have to change one or two of them so that readers don't confuse them with each other. Name picking is probably one of the more frustrating parts of writing for me.

What about you? If you write, how hard is it to decide on names? If you're a reader, how much do you think name choice adds (or takes away) from the story?


Liz Lipperman said...

I go through the phonebook for last names. Like yours, mine have to be perfect. Unlike some authors, I like plain jane names like Suzie, Matt, etc.

Good luck with the new wip. I just started one, too.

Jaye Wells said...

Thanks for the link. Just the other day I had to create a character name sheet to make sure I didn't repeat any first letters or sounds. It's also a handy way to keep track of name origins and meanings if that is important to you.

Jana DeLeon said...

Hi liz - Where were you Saturday?????? Are you cheating on me again? I would love the plain jane names but then I don't have that bayou flavor. It would make writing SO much easier though since I spend so much time agonizing over the right fit. Good luck with the new wip!!!!

Hi Jaye - A name sheet sounds like a great idea. It also sounds organized which at the moment, I am totally not. In fact, I am pretty sure that the past year has been my most unorganized on the face of the earth. I long for the days when I used to have all my storage containers labeled. Or my food cans facing the same direction like Sleeping With The Enemy. But one of these days, I'm gonna do one of those lists too. In fact, I bought a new notebook at WalMart yesterday so I could try to keep track of those things when I travel. And it's sometimes handy to have a hard copy in case I can't use my computer.

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