How is your week? Have you been writing, painting, sculpting, being with your passion? What is it that’s keeping you up because you know deep down there is something you should be writing, painting, sketching, whatever medium is, you just know you should be doing it.
I’ve been walking around in some kind of writers haze, not really a haze, more like my characters mind and their fogginess and it’s not like their in a funk, they just have a lot to share and want their story to be written. I was writing alone and all of a sudden something didn’t feel right, the image of one of my characters was very distinct but something wasn’t quite right with him. I pulled out the Observation deck and flipped through the book knowing I’ve read something on character develop and I come across ‘choose the right name.’ That was it, my character’s name was all wrong, he wasn’t an Andy, he was an Andrew and when I changed his name everything else fell into place.
Sometimes a piece of writing stalls simply because a character has been misnamed. ‘Names are magical,” said novelist John Gardner. “If you name a kid John, he’ll grow up a different kid than if you name him Rudolf.” Names can be found in all sorts of places. Newbery Award-winning author Patricia MacLachlan was having a difficult time with a book when a little by approached her at a reading. He introduced himself as Journey, and she immediately asked if she could use his name. Once she had given her hero his evocative moniker, the novel Journey practically wrote itself. Brainstorming a list of interesting names or pick one from the phone book. Then sketch a written portrait of the person who might bear such a name. Assign her an age, occupation, and marital status. Describe his hobbies, mode of dress, and favorite foods. Think of three other names such a person might bear. ~Naomi Epel
It’s true, a character will present her or himself and I usually know their name right away. This particular protagonist hinted his name but I didn’t fully get who he was until I started writing and all of a sudden I knew I couldn’t stick with the name I had for him and had to find him a new name, one that fit his goals and emotions that he already shared with me. I love the creative process!
How do you find your characters names? Or do they find you? What is your process when creating a character? I find the process of flipping through books or even looking up names on the internet help from time to time. Music also helps, questions are raised, does my character like the song? What kind of music does he/she like anyway? What if she was in a band? He a band manager. My mind starts to wander and the story begins to unravel. If I have a name then I tend to get closer to them, listen for them throughout the day, they become and are that much more real to me. Have I already said how much I love the creativity process? I do!
Until next time my friends, keep on typing….