Monday, August 8, 2011

The Name Game

Through the editing process, I’ve had to change a few names. One was the name of my creatures, which was too juvenile, one the name of one of my characters, which was too old fashioned, and one was the name of a place, which was just plain stupid. J

The problem is that I still think of these things as their original names. When I’m editing, I have to go through the whole process of reading the name and associating it with the original name to trigger my memory and the story line of the character/creatures/place.

I’m sure I’ll get over this soon and start to think of these things as their new names. What about you all. How attached are you to the names in your writing? Can you easily change these? Or are you like me and have trouble accepting name changes?

Back next week!

14 comments:

  1. Names are quite important in my writing. I think about them long and hard. Having to change them would be a challenge. I mean, the name carries personality. Change the name, so does the character. Great thought, Demitria.

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  2. I've changed characters names, and in the final revisions, I have to search for the original name and make sure I haven't left it in. So difficult to remember!

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  3. Well, I had to change one character surname after finding out that Jacob Cohen was the original name of Rodney Dangerfield (that would have bothered me forever)...

    And I'll have to change the surname of one character after going in and finding that she has the same surname of a character from the first chapter who only reappears late in the book.

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  4. I think I'd be reluctant but willing to listen. After all, someone might offer the perfect reason to change a name.

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  5. Whenever I change names I can't help but remember the old ones. Sometimes I wonder if we focus on that a tad bit too much. From my experience in the classroom, the kids don't care what a character is named--they just want the action, dialogue, and plot to feel authentic.

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  6. It depends on the name for me--sometimes I'll plow ahead with writing even though I'm not satisfied with a name, and then change it five times :) Search and Replace is my best friend. When it clicks, though--I tend to get a little attached. I just discovered that one of my main characters nearly shares a name with a character in a Garth Nix book...have debated changing the name, but it's so utterly perfect for him that I just can't :)

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  7. I didn't have to change any names for my first WiP, but I did end up changing the title. It was hard to get used to at first, but eventually I did. For my current WiP, I've already changed three names. It wasn't that hard because I just started drafting last month.

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  8. Names are extremely important in my story as they're tied to one's destiny, so I actually spent a lot of time thinking about names and researching meanings and origins. Babynamesworld.com is awesome. But I guess I'll be finding out soon if I need to change names. There are a few for sure that are unchangeable. :)

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  9. I have gotten used to new names, but my husband read the version with the old ones so he keeps going, "Wait now, who's Andrew?" and I have to laugh.

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  10. It's interesting that you had to change names they didn't like. I would never have thought that was something involved in editing.

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  11. Actually I find that I change names so often that when I go back to read old notes, I get confused because I'll be like "Who on earth did Margo end up being again?" I reluctantly decided to change the name of the world i had created after doing a google search and not liking all the associated things I found. Although sometimes I still slip up and refer to the old name when I write. It can be really hard to sever the emotional attachment to an original name.

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  12. I tend to change one or two names in a wip, but usually in the early stages of drafting. Like Jennifer, I tend to get confused when I'm reading old notes and the original outline.

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