Thursday, March 19

Piece By Piece

I found myself getting hung up by a name. A name! I know my hero’s name is Hutch. And that its short for Hutchinson. But is it his first, middle, or last name?? And seeing as he opens the second chapter as a teacher, I kind of needed to know, right?

Or did I? Why not just open with Hutch and then go back and change it later? Why let a name hang me up?

I wrote that yesterday and I still don’t know the facts behind Hutch’s name, but I did get started on his chapter. And the students called him Mr. Hutchinson. So, I’m thinking it’s his last name and just now as I was writing this I came up with his first name. Gabriel. Gabe. Gabe Hutchinson. I think I like that.

See, that’s how writing works. You just sit down and start typing or writing by hand—my personal favorite—and the pieces begin to fall into place.

Early in a book, I tend to write in pieces as I get to know my characters. It’s similar to my jigsaw method. When I start a puzzle, after I’ve done the edges, I pick a scene—the sky, a body of water, a batch of similarly colored flowers, a house—and begin with that. Then I go onto another scene. And then I fill in around those pieces to complete the puzzle.

In my WIP, I know that the two characters have a past—that they shared a night together ten years ago and that night changed their futures. That night is their sliding door—a door that led to other doors.  So, I’ve been exploring those doors, those pieces. 


Those scenes may or may not end up in the novel, but what I learn about my characters will. And now, I have to get back to Gabe's chapter :)

8 comments:

  1. I keep a list of names I like, and their history if I can find it (ethnicity, meaning and so on). Sometimes it's a name I've heard on television or read in a book, sometimes it comes to me completely randomly. I have been known to start some characters with an image first and pick a suitable name after that. Other times, I have the name first and build the character around the meaning of their name and what role they play in the story. I have, however, been known to go back and rename a character or place later because I discovered I didn't like their name.
    I also try not to name characters similarly. Too confusing.

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    1. Carolyn, that's a great idea! I'll have to start jotting names down that I come across for future use. I actually had an early name for this character but it just wasn't clicking.

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  2. I like that name, Margie! Keep working on those pieces!!

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  3. I've been known to work for hours on end at naming a character ...

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    1. Usually names just come to me..that's why this was an anomaly for me.

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  4. Sorry to be by so late--I like the name, too, and I'm with Mark. I've spent many hours naming people!

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    1. I lost the first version of this story when my computer died.. I know, I know, back-up. But I'd only written a few pages and I thought I'd printed them out, but couldn't find them. So, when I went back to the story, I had to start from scratch and couldn't remember the names.

      Yesterday, I found the two pages I'd printed and I'd name the heroine Claire both times. So, I guess I'm pretty sure that's what her name should be. His name was Jaxon-Jax--in the original, but I'm thinking I like Hutch better, so....

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