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What’s in a Name?

Apologies for a lack of posts recently.  I’ve been concentrating on G’host for the last few weeks.

I find that summer is a productive time for my writing, especially during my holidays, so now is the time of year that I like to concentrate on getting as much as I can done, away from the normal distractions of work.

Anyone that’s written any lengthy piece will understand that keeping across the detail and content of a long document is a hard task on its own.  To help with this, especially when only being able to find time to write every few days, I use two separate supporting documents: a character biography and an executive summary.

The character bio is a spreadsheet with the character names across the columns and various facets of the character down the rows.  Facets include physical characteristics such as eye and hair colour but also include character, background, role and plot points.

The executive summary is a simple word table.  Each section of text is summarised into a few key bullet points and as I don’t generally try to write stories from front to back any more, the exec summary comes in very useful when I’m shuffling fragments into their final running order. It also enables me to more quickly get my mind back to where it was when I last finished tinkering.

Anyway, to the subject of this particular meandering post, I’ve just renamed one of the lead characters in G’host.  Bearing in mind that I’ve been contemplating this story for many years and actually chipping away at it for two, this is something of a big deal.  Well, for me at least!

It’s the right call though.  Both main body text and character bio did not “look” right.  I’d been searching and searching for an alternative and, to some extent, it had been stopping me from getting on with the writing.  But, I should have known better.  One moment, out of the blue, the answer just appeared in my head.  The new name works much better and, with a little bit of “find and replace” magic, the new name has now peppered itself across the manuscript.

The lesson: it’s amazing what the right name can do for a character.  So don’t be afraid to experiment with different ones if you need to!

Finally, thank-you to the readers who’ve recently posted reviews for Firebird and Thunder. Your kind words are, as always, greatly appreciated.

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