Wednesday, December 2, 2020

The Insecure Writer and Obsessing Over Character Names


Today is December's contribution to Alex Cavanaugh's Insecure Writers Support Group.

What makes me an insecure writer this month?

My inability to settle on my main character's name.

Seriously, after working on my (debut) manuscript for the last five years, I still haven’t decided on a name for my protagonist. Or her love interest. Sigh.

The shame is too much to bear.

Yes, yes, I know. Many, if not all of you, probably wouldn’t even be able to begin writing a story without knowing the name of your MC. Yet, here I am, working hard on final edits, and I’m still using placeholder names. 

At the moment, those placeholder names are Karen and Henry. (Karen was this girl I knew back in grade school and Henry was my father’s middle name.)  I considered staying with Karen, but my critique group thought the name sounded too old—even the person whose name IS Karen agreed. And I already knew Henry sounded too stodgy. (Sorry, Dad.)

I don’t think I’m being super picky, but I just haven’t found the right name yet. It was easier when I wrote my Hogwarts fan fiction, because I followed Rowling’s tendency of giving characters names with hidden alchemical meanings or based their physical characteristics or occupations.

I’ve recently thought up a name for my character which seems to have potential, but we’ll see. It won't be the first time, I've changed my mind. If any of you have any spare names to toss around, let me know.

December 2 question: Are there months or times of the year that you are more productive with your writing than other months, and why?

My best time of the year for writing would, without a doubt, be autumn and early winter, October to December. The early nights. The moist autumn smells. The feeling that nature is closing down all around you.  Halloween. Nothing gets my writing juices moving faster.  I can lock myself in my office with burning candles and the ambient sounds of a howling wind and I’m good to go. 

Be sure to visit this month's so-hosts: Pat Garcia, Sylvia Ney, Liesbet @ Roaming AboutCathrina Constantine, and Natalie Aguirre! 

Take care everyone, and stay safe!