Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thursday Seasonings

By JccKeith

So it happens to be Thursday night and on Thursdays I get to write a blog of the week, just in case you weren't for sure what my purpose today was.  Now technically, I should have written this earlier in the day but I was on quite the writing spree and put in an impressive - or at least I found it a little impressive - 5,000+ words in a short time.  What can I say, when the floodgates open, words just pour out of me.  Now how much I have to edit later is unknown at the moment because really, it all seems gold to me in my current state of mind.  Later I might find it to be absolute rubbish but that is a blog for another day and probably a sad one.

So what brings me back to the computer at this late hour?  Well I'll tell ya.  I had a bit of driving time - or riding time since I wasn't actually the one doing the driving - and that left me with time to think on some things.  This particular story I am working on for 2013 NaNoWriMo is different than most I write.  This one wasn't one I had already planned out in my head before I ever started typing.

Normally I have character names and types and a few key plot points somewhat lined out ahead of time.  I am definitely a pantser and never plan too much but this time was undertaken without any prior thought whatsoever.  So that left me with an empty storehouse of character names for this story.  It is not a fantasy piece so I can't just come up with whatever randomish name I want and claim it fits with that world or reality, etc.

My mind, having that bit of time to think today as I rode, wandered into the area of possible character names.  I could tell that it's been a while since I had to think of any new ones because I had some pretty terrible ideas come to the forefront.  There was Basil and Oregano or Oregana and Curry and Pepper.  Those are all completely valid names... for spices and seasonings but not necessarily people.  Names are just too important to pull randomly from your spice cabinet.

My next set of names strayed into even worse territory.  Worse you say, than spices?  Well yes.  I did that annoying thing I sometimes do when I'm bored.  I started turning words around and making words out of the backwards original word.  You know like Nilbog is goblin backwards and although when a reader gets that it may add to the description of the character's personality or hint at a true hidden personality, it just isn't a great idea.  It is too obvious.  Although you could turn obvious around to be Suoivbo and it sort of sounds a little cool, it is also a tad silly.

So... you might be wondering what I ended up doing about character names.  The truth is I ended up sticking with a classic and just using Adam for the first male character.  Clever, no?  Really my thought was that I shouldn't waste too much time picking out character names when I had so many other thoughts related to the story.  I decided to use whatever name happened to come to mind just to put something in place.  Names can always be changed later - to protect the writer from looking like a total loser that couldn't come up with a decent name for a character.  That is the beauty of using Microsoft Word is that it has that nifty find and replace feature where you can tell it to find every time you used the name Adam and replace it with a more sophisticated or mysterious or masterful name.

The key thing is to do whatever you can do at the moment.  If the story is coming at you in full force then write that sucker down until the ideas run dry.  You can fill in the holes later.

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