Wednesday, September 16, 2009

When to Choose Character Names

“I embrace the naming my characters. In all honesty, and you can ask my beta’s and writing buddies, I will not write a single word until I have names picked that are unique with strong meanings. Once that name is picked I see the person and I am off and running. -- Danae Ayusso in “What’s in a name?"
I visited Danae’s blog for the first time on Monday. The above comment grabbed my attention. Why? I do just the opposite in most of my stories. I write the first draft using placeholder names for my characters. It’s after I know the story and my characters better that I finalize their names. Yes, I write mostly flash fiction; but I did this with a 9600-word story a while back. I finished the draft, thought about the characters, and decided to change the main character’s name.

This quote demonstrates how authors work differently to get to the same end. Today’s quote is also an interesting contrast to yesterday’s in which Stephen Koch states the author can’t always know everything about a story before he begins writing it -- or maybe she can.

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