Wednesday, February 4, 2015

What's in a Name and ROW80

Monday night after meeting my word goal and making some effort to brain storm a place where I was a little stuck I was getting a frustrated. At this point I gave myself permission to watch some TV. We don't have cable and don't watch TV often, but when we do we turn to Netflix. I was flipping through the suggestions not feeling too thrilled about the offerings. I had almost decided to rewatch Charmed for the hundredth time (which I would happily do) when I stumbled across Sabrina with Audrey Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart. I had never seen it or the remake from 1995, but remembered it had been mentioned in another of my favorite shows, The Gilmore Girls, so I decided to give it a try. I really liked it, but Oliver Larrabee's character said something like who gave Thomas Fairchild the right to name his daughter Sabrina which got me thinking why would he "not have the right" to choose that specific name and what does the name of a character say about it?

I am having trouble naming some of my characters. The FMC and MMC had their first names almost immediately, but I haven't even thought about last names. While I was writing I got tired of writing "the father", but told myself just to keep moving and then the MMC's parents were in the same seen with the FMC's father which made things a little confusing and now I am thinking it may be time to give those poor characters names. I stand behind my decision even if I have no idea how or what to name them.

My first move is to Google it and there are like a billion pieces of advice on tons of posts. There are standard things that many people do when naming a baby like check out a what is the most popular baby name site and what does a name mean site. You also have the Social Security Administration site that lists most popular first names in any given year or decade after 1879. Though remember to look about however many years before your story begins your character is old.

My story is taking place in the United States, but these characters would be much more likely to choose English, Welsh, Scottish and such names. It is an urban fantasy, current setting with a magical overlay so I have some other choices as well. New Age names could be interesting and a fantasy name generator which I used often in my roll as DM during my extreme D&D time. (Other generators)

My daughter is OBSESSED with Homestuck and I have heard more than enough about it today, but for some reason during my research I ran across a reference to it. In this universe humans have 4 letter first names and 6 or 7 letter last names. This is interesting because he has found a way that works for him and it provides something unifying for the characters which can be comforting for readers.

These are some tips and tricks I have found that I thought would be most helpful. So now all that's left is get down to the business of actually naming them. What do you do to give your characters that prefect name?

ROW80 Rundown:

1. Write 500 words per day on any project.
Monday - 527 on my WIP. On a side note I am really tired of calling it WIP. Technically I already posted it's working title in the Hiveword graphic, but I wanted to share it in a more digestible form. I feel like I need a drum roll, but it could be nerves making me stall. I have taken to calling it "The Most Magical Place". What do you think? What does it make you think of? I would love to know what images and concepts the title brings up in your mind.
Tuesday - 300 words typed on The Most Magical Place and many others scrawled in a notebook while my husband was driving so I wouldn't scream, wet my pants or criticize him while he was driving.
Wednesday - 1,134 on this post

2. Blog at least every Wednesday and Sunday.
Still going strong on this one. I almost forgot that it was time to write another check-in, for some reason Wednesday seems to sneak up on me more often than Sunday. I was saved by my amazing daughter asking me if I was going to work on it. I am trying to convince them that if I am working on my laptop they should ask for my attention and then wait until I acknowledge them. I am having varying degrees of success, but the process is just beginning. I feel it is also important for me not to wait too long to get to them. So many things to remember I kinda feel like my head is going to crash.

3. Check out at least 20 posts from each new ROW80 linky before the next one comes out.
Not great here, I was only able to get to 10. I think I am going to have to revise this and aim for 10 with comments because I have been commenting on most anyway. No shame or pressure just a readjustment which is the best part of ROW80.

4. Use Twitter at least once per day.
Hitting Twitter once isn't a problem, but there are so many things that I want to look at that I am loosing significant chunks of what could otherwise be productive time.

5. Post on my author Facebook page at least 3 times per week.
Not so far, but there is still time because I am measuring this from Sunday to Sunday for this goal.

6. Read 1 book per week.
Things and stuff have come between me and my reading. I started the Sherlock book but didn't read the description well when I downloaded and it was just a sample. Which is really irritating, but what you get for not reading things thoroughly. I went to Project Gutenberg and found a free copy there, but my Kindle app won't open it. So I went to the Google Play Store, as a dear friend suggested, and they only had a sample as well. So back to Project Gutenberg and download another file type. Now it is opening in a program I don't know, but it is uploading and downloading repeatedly. So the possibility that I have a virus or something of the sort is creeping up on me, but there is also the real possibility that my technology has simply outstripped me.


  1. For names I use an out of print gaming aid: The Everyone Everywhere List and more recently picked up Gary Gygax's Book of Names. Actually, I've owned it for a while, but just hesitated in using it.

    It sounds like you have a handle on your goals. I hope you didn't get a virus and that all straightens out, so you can read the book. Keep up the hard work!

    1. Ooo, The Everyone Everywhere List looks very interesting. It's for sale in RDG version at Drive Through RPG. Thanks for the recommendation.

  2. It's interesting how people get judgey about other people's names, isn't it? I'll admit, even I am prone to it (for example, the musical director of the show I'm doing at the moment has a son named Dude, and every time she mentions him, my brain just goes, "... Really?").

    Naming characters drives me crazy, though! Often their first names come easily enough, but like you, the last names are a pain.

    Nice work on the goals, though! Certainly no shame in readjustment, that's the beauty of ROW80! :D

    1. Dude? Wow, that is very interesting. This is me trying not to judge. Thanks for your kind words and encouragement.

  3. I like to use lists of names from ships in the time period (and country) I'm researching for my historical fiction. That may or may not help. Hope you don't have a virus lurking somewhere, but I applaud your goals on writing, reading, and using Twitter. Somehow even once a day on Twitter just seems too much for me. Re reading, have you tried your local library using their digital library, OverDrive? You can often download books in Kindle format at no cost. All the best in the coming week for all your goals!

    1. I haven't tried the library yet, but that is a good suggestion. I have a problem with libraries because I can sometimes not be able to get the books finished and then I am really upset when I have to take them back. If I would just read one or two at a time it might be easier to finish on time.

    2. Me too. In fact, dear hubby and I take out about 5 books each every time and then race to renew them or take them back or finish them. I'd actually rather read a book than watch TV (except for a treasured few, like PERSON OF INTEREST and sometimes THE BIG BANG. I was hooked when DH said he wanted to take me to the library for our first date. Have a great week -- and thanks for visiting.

    3. Awwww, first date at a library is so amazing.