I finally managed to get back into writing and straight away all of the planning I did fell away as my brain decided I wanted to write something different. 2500 words later I have a really interesting opening sequence to a story that may or may not work but at the moment I’m really keen on writing it because I can see that beautiful clear path from where I am to where I want the story to go. The problem being that without a plan I will waffle through about ninety pages and introduce characters that have no purpose and I am setting myself up to have to do sixty-trillion rewrites but I would rather do that then continue to write plans and outlines that never get turned into drafts so I’ll see how things go. If I get stuck I could always start writing a plan mid-way and direct myself toward the end.
The other problem is that without a plan every time a new characters walks into the scene (or drops from the building above as the case may be) I’m wondering who they are and for me that usually starts by naming them. Once I know the name of a character the other details fill themselves in.
Jasmine is cautious but defiant in the face of danger. She’d rather sneak around things than risk direct confrontation. Jasmine is blonde and thin but she isn’t very tall. The character appeared I knew what her name was and I instantly filled in a back story for her. I could tell you everything you ever wanted to know about Jasmine. Jasmine isn’t my protagonist. She’s just someone the protagonist ran into and decided to help out.
However, Jasmine was being attacked by a thug. Who is the thug? What’s his story? He isn’t an essential character. He isn’t in the story for very long. He won’t be coming back into the story. He is there to facilitate Jasmine meeting the protagonist. What is his name? I considered quite a few options and at the moment I’ve left Merton in the space however I know he won’t still be Merton after a rewrite because there is no way I’m naming a character that. At least not a character I’m intending anyone to take seriously.
Merton means farmstead by the pool and is an old English name apparently. Jasmine is of course a flower which is why she is a bit delicate with hidden inner strength. I don’t always worry about whether my characters names are meaning appropriate but I try not to make them completely inappropriate because if the reader knows what the name means it might put them off the story.
How do your characters end up with their names?
Comments are closed.