Hello Writer bees!
Hope you all are staying well and staying creative.
It’s been a rough couple of days for me. Remember how in my last Camp NaNoWriMo update, I told you I’m working on keeping a more positive mindset? Maybe I jinxed myself. Maybe the universe heard me, and thought, ‘let’s throw some hardballs.’ Life stress plus work stress equals one stressed lady! Writing this post has been one of my few fleeting breathers this week.
But, writing and editing my WIP still need to be done. So, I carry on, as best I can. Take breaks when I can. Overwhelmed and overload, I stopped and made myself some fried rice in my cozy sweatpants. My preferred method of decompressing. After that break, I went back to tackling the big editing giant that is my mystery WIP. Breaks are important. Even just taking a rest, or cooking a meal, or watching a movie can do wonders for your mental health. Don’t forget to take care of yourselves, writer bees.
In other news, changes to my characters are happening this week. What’s a sure sign of writer insanity? Naming and renaming characters. Yes, I’ve fallen into that trap, constantly scrolling through first and last names. I can’t help it. I’ve been meaning to change two of my characters names for a while. Embarrassing enough, but one of the suspects has had a temporary last name for years. Yikes. So, I took the opportunity while at Camp NaNoWriMo to look through names and finally making those changes.
How do I go about naming a character? Baby naming websites have come in clutch. Also, if you’re like me and writing historical fiction, the Social Security Administration website is a gift. You can search through the most poplar names of a specific decade. Super helpful!
Anyone else feel like naming a character is a lot of pressure? Or is that just me? I mean, I know people name children and pets, but fictional characters feel different. Picking the right name that fits perfectly with the story and isn’t the name of someone you know is a unique challenge. It’s all in those pesky, tiny details, right? The tedious work of a writer.
That’s it for week two of Camp NaNoWriMo. Nothing exciting writing-wise, I’m afraid. Just renaming characters and ticking off items from my editing to-do list. Hoping to join a NaNoWriMo virtual write-in or event next week. We’ll see what happens, stay tuned!
How do you name characters? And how are your creative endeavors going? Share your progress. Talk to me in the comments. As always, I love to hear from you guys.
Write with heart.
4 thoughts on “Camp NaNoWriMo: Renaming Characters + Writer Breaks (Week 2 Update)”
My characters in DLTDGB are all based on real people. I’ve told a couple of them about my project and asked them to name their own characters. A few gave me permission to use their real names, others came up with names they liked.
For the other characters, I tend to do something where the name will sound kind of similar to the actual name, or have the same initials, or have a related meaning. (Pete Green, for example, in real life he also has a New Testament first name and a color last name. He knows about DLTDGB now but didn’t when I started it and named his character.) Sometimes I’ll put the first, middle, and last names in a different order and change them around to make them sound like first and last names (like, for example, I obviously haven’t used this, but Michael Jackson might become Jack Michaels under that system).
I have renamed one character in a recent work. During my last break from DLTDGB, I wrote a standalone story called Thrill Ride. Ashley, the character’s celebrity crush in that story, was originally Aubrey, then I changed it to Autumn because Aubrey didn’t really feel right, then I changed it back to Aubrey because there’s already an Autumn in DLTDGB and I didn’t want readers to be confused, then finally I changed it to Ashley because Aubrey still didn’t feel right. (The name had to start with A because of one of the reasons from the previous paragraph, and Ashley’s last name didn’t change from the time I first typed it, although I didn’t have it in mind when I first started working on the story.)
I have a possible future novel idea in the back of my mind that will have a large group of main characters. I haven’t decided yet if it will focus on one character or be more of an ensemble cast. But I have decided that if I ever do this project, I’m thinking the entire group of characters will be made up of pairs of supporting characters taken from my previous works of fiction, all on the same adventure in this story. And if it ever does happen, I’m going to use Ashley and one of her bandmates for that.
Good morning Lady J, I use local war memorials for some of my stories, specifically WWI for the period I am generally interested in. Where I live in Normandy I’m afraid I’m never going to run out of names…
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Most times my characters tell me their names. Not sure where they come from, actually, lol.
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