A Rose By Any Other Name…

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One of the hardest things when creating a character is coming up with an appropriate name for them. Sure, it seems easy, but ever have a name in mind and then when you create the character it just doesn’t fit?

So how do you go about finding the perfect moniker?

Baby naming sites: I suggest https://www.babble.com/ because it gives you not only naming lists, but also the meanings and origins.

Some other good sites:

  • Nameberry.com
  • Babynamewizard.com
  • Babycenter.com

Books: Bruce Lansky has a good bit of books that are very helpful and up to date. Also “The Everything Baby Names Book” by June Rifkin. But the best and one I used is “Beyond Ava and Aiden” by Linda Rosenkrantz and Pamela Redmond Satran who are also the creators of Nameberry.

Fantasy

If you’re like me and are writing fantasy, sometimes typical, modern names are not a good fit for your characters.

  • Try foreign, exotic names
  • Unique spellings
  • Mix two names or words together (i.e. Brandon + Nathan = Branthan)

What I tend to do is create my own. Sometimes using a language I made up. If you don’t feel like doing all that, then the above suggestions are probably the best suited for you.

It might take some time to come up with a good fit but eventually you’ll get a feel for the character and their name will kind of fall into place. Don’t stress about it.

When Living With a Writer

By a Writer

Ah, writers. What strange creatures we are.

Let’s be honest, almost every occupation has it’s quirks and with those quirks comes pros and cons. Writers are no exception.

If you are not a writer, then you may look at someone who is and be a little daunted. Or maybe you are currently living with one and can’t seem to understand why they still haven’t taken out the trash even though you asked five times.

Worry no more. As a writer, I am going to let you in on how some of our minds work. I’ll give you some tips on how to cope with some of our antics, but at the same time, know that a relationship is a two way street. It can’t just be you putting in all the work. For this, I’ll also include a few things we writers can do to help as well.

1: Sometimes we forget things… a lot.

It’s not that we don’t care. Most times, we really do care. But our minds tend to be working a hundred mile an hour constantly. This happens because we are constantly reaching for new or creative ideas to advance our stories or build our worlds. We become solely invested in our own imagination that at times, things will slip.

What you can do: be patient. And honestly, a friendly reminder every now and then wouldn’t hurt.

What we can do: Slow down. Also, learn to carry a pen and pad around (or some other writing device) and WRITE THINGS DOWN! You may think you’ll remember on your own, but trust me, you’ll see one picture on the internet and suddenly find yourself involved in building an entirely new planet and then before you know it, your loved one is stuck washing the dishes by themselves. Again.

2: We get agitated by criticism (yeah, we do).

It is said that if you’re a writer, you need to have a very thick skins. This is true. Does that mean we always have thick skins? No.

I mentioned this in one of my previous posts The Jigsaw Heart (https://thearcaneauthor.blog/2019/01/16/the-jigsaw-heart/) . A writer’s work is sacred. Sometimes laced with our own personal feelings, struggles, and pain. Criticism can feel like a personal attack.

What you can do: Be kind, but honest. Think about things you’ve created. Think how you would want people to respond. Always be truthful, but you don’t need to be savage. Also make sure you’re giving constructive criticism, not just trying to pick apart their work for the sake of picking it apart.

What we can do: Stop being so sensitive. Not everyone is trying to bring you down or change who you are. Most people don’t understand how invested you are in your work, so give them a break. Besides, they’re trying to help. Pay attention to what they’re saying, it may just be the advice you need.

3: We can be terrible with our time

Writers who take their career seriously may spend every bit of their spare time locked up in their little spaces and typing away. This can frustrate some of their friends and family because as much as they want you to be successful, they always would like to see what your face looks like when it doesn’t have a screen in front of it.

What you can do: Schedules are useful. If you want to spend time with your writer spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend, friend, etc, then you might need to actually schedule time for this. Remind your writer that they need to take a break. It’s good for them and it’s good for you.

What we can do: We can also use a schedule. We need to step away. Take a break. Get out of our own heads. Set time aside to spend with those we love. Go for a hike. Ride a bike. Get coffee with your friends. You’ll feel refreshed coming back into your project and may even find it will help you work better.

Just keep in mind, writers are human to (even though we don’t always act like it). It’s much like having any career really. We invest a lot into what we do. Just be understanding of that and at the same time, don’t be afraid to give us a little shove in the right direction. And writers, don’t get mad when they do it.

Writing is life, but life isn’t writing. Remember that and go spend some time with the people who care about you. You’ll thank me later.

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A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people

Thomas Mann