What’s in a Name?

I didn’t realize when I started this week of 7 posts in 7 days that I would (unintentionally) end up with a bit of a theme going on. I’ve hit a wall with my writing this week, I’m planning to introduce a few new characters but for the life of me, I can’t come up with any good names. I know that they have to fit the time period that I’m writing about, but I can’t settle on any that I really like, and (as odd as it may sound) that fit the character. I know, I know; I’m creating the character, can’t I just write it so the character fits the name? The answer is no, I can’t…I tried that already.

My main characters have names; these are names that have been in my head for years, I’ve used these characters before, but this is the first time that I’ve actually liked them…and fortunately their names work with the time period. A few of my important supporting characters have names, and I love them. They are funny, witty, and just all around good people and their names work for them. There are some historical figures; thank goodness I don’t have to make them up!

The biggest trouble I’ve had so far is coming up with good names. I honestly didn’t think it was going to be this hard. Because I’m writing a period piece I thought my biggest issue was going to be research and fact checking but because it is a period I’ve always been interested in, and been reading about for a number of years, that has proven to be quite easy. I’ve had writer’s block before and I can usually overcome it by skipping ahead in the story and filling in the emptiness later, but right now I have a character introducing themselves, and for most of this week they haven’t had a name.

I’m hoping that somewhere in my pages of notes, lists of names, and other bits of information I’ve compiled, I will find the right names that fit the way I’m writing these characters. I can honestly say that throughout this journey I’ve taken (and will continue to take) with my writing, I’ve gained so much more respect for authors; it isn’t just about sitting down and typing, or writing…it is so much more than that. It is emotional, painstaking, and tiring. It is difficult, intense, and sometimes it makes you want to tear your hair out. From all of that however, you are creating a masterpiece. Sure it isn’t a Van Gogh painting or a Bach concerto…it may not be even comparable to those things but it is still a work of art, a piece of your soul, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything!



This post is part of the 7 in 7 challenge I agreed to when Jen posted about it last week. Go check out all of the other bloggers that joined the challenge.


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