Thursday, March 22, 2012

I'm Sorry, What Was Your Name?

A week ago I read an interesting post over on the Pink Heart Society's blog written by Scarlet Wilson (which by the way I think is a pretty awesome name for a heroine) entitled What's In A Name?

Which, as all good writing posts do, got me thinking. 

You see in the current WIP, my heroine goes by several different names.  Not versions of the same name eg Joanna is called Jo, Jody, Annie, Anna etc but by completely different names.  She's a girl with a bit of a coloured past and she has a very good reason for not wanting to use her real name.

Now Scarlet has explained in her article that some readers, won't like the name of your characters (reminds them of someone they don't like, sounds like someone they don't like, someone they don't like named their daughter that name etc).  And we all know that you can't please all the people all the time, but it did give me pause for thought.

But as I'm trying to be optomistic, I'm going to think about it this way: most heroines have one name and if your reader doesn't like that particular name, then you're sunk.  My way, if the reader doesn't like one of my heroine's names, chances are they might like at least one of the others more!

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort - Herm Albright

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Things That Hold You Back

Again, it's been a while since I posted.  Probably because it's been a while since I did any writing.

Two reasons for that.  The first is a nasty and persistant case of the blues.  It's nearing the 12 month anniversary of my sister's passing and there have been a lot of 'last memories' surfacing.  The 13th of this month was the 12 month anniversary of the last time I saw her before she went into hospital.  It was a beautiful day spent with both my sisters and we had a lovely time together and the memory of that day is so crystal clear in my mind which is a great comfort.

The other, less easily defined reason, is that I have been having a mild crisis of confidence.  Okay less than mild.  I read a lot of blogs.  Some of published authors. Some of soon-to-be published authors.  And some of authors wanting to be published.  But lately I have found myself holding back from commenting on their blogs, and posting on my own, because I have the ridiculous notion that someone, somewhere is going to call my bluff.  Someone is going to point at me, everyone will turn to stare and they will yell into the settling silence: "This woman is a fake!  She has no talent and she will never ever be a writer!"

As a result my writing has suffered.  I was second-, third-, and fourth-guessing each and every single word I was writing and it was the most unproductive process I have ever undertaken.  I seriously thought about giving up but as per usual I kept dreaming up these amazing (well to me anyway) plots and characters and I wrote them down in my "Ideas" folder where they were languishing away, drumming their fingers on my conciousness. 

So then I decided to read through some older posts of other writers and found some really helpful advice (thank you Caitlin Crews, Jackie Ashenden, Maisey Yates and Nicola Marsh).  The plan now is to just write.  Not hamstringing myself by trying to write the perfect first draft or caring about what anyone else would think about it.  Just writing.

Then I can go back and see what can be salvaged.  Learning to rewrite is a skill that I am going to give myself the opportunity to add to my repertoire.

If anyone is still reading this blog (and I can't blame you if you're not) any words of wisdom are most welcome.