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Thursday, January 23, 2014

An Author's Perspective: Tracking Your Characters' Names

I've had earlier posts regarding picking and choosing your characters' names for each work, especially not to have repeating first consonantsso don't have them all start with S for example within one tale. And I've also talked of where to look for names: the phone book, baby name books, obituaries, movie credits, your high school yearbooks, etc. Keep a handy list of your favorites for future use.

But this time I'm thinking we should have a notebook that lists all the characters within each book that we write, then cross-referenced by names, first and last plus any nickname. Yes, create a computer file as well or a spreadsheet.

So for my novel, Good Ole Boys, I would list under the Gs my title along with an alphabetic listing of all names used therein. So my hero and heroine, Holt Seville and Geneva "Neva" Tate, would make that list. I would then also place Holt Seville under both H and S. Geneva would end up under G, N and T.

I doubt Nora Roberts expected to be writing over two hundred novels when she finished her first. I wonder if she tried to not duplicate names along the way. Maybe she created her own system, like I'm describing here, after having twenty or so books published.

For our convenience, I suggest we start one now.

"If your vocation isn’t a vacation, then quit, leap, change careers."

Denise Barker, Author, Blogger, Copy Editor
Books that Build Character(s)

What lies behind you and what lies in front of you pales in comparison to what lies inside of you. Ralph Waldo Emerson
When you give someone a book, you don’t give him just paper, ink, and glue.  You give him the possibility of a whole new life. Christopher Morley
The best inheritance you can leave your kids is an example of how to live a full and meaningful life. Dan Zadra

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