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Sharon J's Writing Blog
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Name Change
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
My hero's changed his name. As far as I was concerned, he had a perfectly good name but he kept whispering in my ear, telling me it was wrong. In the end I checked and found that his name was actually Italian rather than Spanish so he'd been right all along. Silly of me not to listen - of course he'd know better than me.

I'm having trouble getting along with this new name though. Hero seems happy enough with it but I keep forgetting what it is. It just doesn't fit his skin properly. What am I supposed to do? How do you write a story when you can't even remember your hero's name?

As soon as I heard it I knew it was him so the problem isn't that it doesn't suit him, it's more that my limited number of small greys are having difficulty pushing the old name out and letting the new name in.

I've had a pretty good writing day today, although you wouldn't think so if you judged on the word count alone. What's happened is that I've written the full answers to the questions I ask along the route, like "what's extraordinary about the hero?" and "why is the hero the only one for the heroine?"

There are lots more questions and I usually find them quite a struggle but I do feel it's important to have a fully formed answer to them all before I can write THE END. Not that I'm at THE END yet, but the answers to the questions that should have been answered by now have all fallen into place. It helps me understand their motivations better. Take my heroine as an example. After being hurt by her mother and her husband, as a way of protecting herself from hurt she's been determined not to love again. But she does fall in love. Why? What is it about the hero that's so special she's able to let down her barriers and go for it? There's no point just saying "because he's good-looking" or "because he's kind". Lots of blokes are either/or and many are both. There has to be a deeper reason, something that touches her in a way no other man is likely to. It's not until I've got all those things down onto paper (on my Q&A sheet) that I really feel I'm writing a story worth reading.

Anyway, enough of that. What's the time? Half eleven! I've a book to write!

Posted by Sharon J on 2:24 AM   

Anonymous KS said...

I changed the name of my main character once and sent the book off to my agent with several accounts of his original name still in it even though I'd been through it several times and thought I'd caught them all. When he pointed them out I felt like an amateur even though it was my fifth full length novel.

Good luck with your book. I've been popping in here regularly and you seem to have a good idea of what you're doing.

3:47 PM   

Anonymous Sharon J said...

Thanks for the encouragement, KS. I have to admit I've become just a little bit paranoid when it comes to finding instances of my characters original name in the manuscript and keep scanning it, and I know that's one thing I'll worry about when I send it off. I'll have to print it out and get my other half to look through it too. He's pretty eagle eyed :-)

11:01 AM   

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