Saturday, January 23, 2010

What's in a name?

As a writer, there are many facets of the written word over which I labor. Amazingly, one of the initial focus points in a new work regards names of the characters. Sometimes I have names before the story even develops and sometimes I find myself nearing the end and saying to myself, "he's really more of a "Ben," than a "John." It's all a fascinating process.

The process of name-giving that surprises me the most is when I already have a name for a character, but when my fingers touch the keyboard, another name appears. Take the other day, for instance. I poured over what to call one of my main characters and finally came up with one I thought worked well. Let's call her Erin. I began writing away and about ten pages or so later, it hit me that Erin had become Erica - and right from the start! The Erica in my head, lurking in my thoughts, finally popped up to correct me. About time, I thought with a roll of my eyes. Sometimes those ghosts that shadow me are a sneaky lot!

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