Sunday, 16 August 2015

Names Names Names!

Without a doubt, the thing I hate most about writing is coming up with names for characters. I'm terrible at it. Not codenames- for the superhero stuff, etc., that's easy. I see a word and go "oh that'd be a cool villain name"; no I'm talking about real every day name-names. 

There's a whole bunch of schools on this (not real schools but schools of philosophy- writing philosophy) on how to come up with names- I even have a book called the Character-Naming Sourcebook that goes into each of those different ideas and provides a great list of names and their meanings. It's author, Sherilyn Kenyon, is a fan of that kind of stuff. Lucky her. 

I say that because damn near every character will have a name when you write. Sometimes you can get away with a single name (for throwaway one appearance characters or for truly bad-ass folks- I'm looking at you, Hawk) or a descriptor of the character (example, Robin Hood's Little John) but for most of the folks that populate your fictional world; they're going to have a first and last name. Jerks. 

Sometimes I find a name that I really like and run with it (example Steven Kincaid) other times I find a neat looking name of a real person and change it- which is where I got the name of the Armenetti crime family that controls the Mob in Legacy. Often I think about who the character is and try to find a name that I think suits them as a result. Some names just bring to mind certain characteristics for whatever reasons, and I try to incorporate that. 

One thing I've started doing (it was always the plan in some parts but not as prevalent as it's becoming) is naming after friends or family members. According to that book I mentioned, it's called Tuckerisms, after science fiction, Bob Tucker. I've always enjoyed small inside jokes/nods to things and, what I've also taken to using it in LEGACY is as a way of remembering/honoring loved ones that are no longer around. 

LEGACY especially seemed an appropriate place to do it- that way they still live on in some form- their name and some of the traits that I associated with them. Their legacy lives on in a book called just that. Pretty meta of me, eh? But really it comes down to it being the only way I really know how to honor those that matter/are close to me- with my writing. 

There's a character who you'll first see in LEGACY #8, that is based off of my grandfather, who passed away some years ago, and in fact whose birthday would be tomorrow, the 17th. I have a space station named after my good buddy, Charlie McElvy and a publishing company named after my good friend and editor, Christine Steendam, Steendam Press. 

Even with all that though, I still find names to be the trickiest part of writing. Hopefully one day I'll get the hang of it. 


Where All My Posts At?

I had said awhile back that I wanted to get more consistent with my blog posts- my goal going into 2015 was to do one per week. That fell apart pretty quickly. It's been a busy year and I haven't made writing the priority that I had planned on. Which is ok. 

I know, right? A writer saying that it's ok that they AREN'T writing? Craziness. 

The fact is I've had a lot of things happening away from the keyboard and, as awesome and fun as it is to live in these imaginary worlds I come up with, the real world matters more. Real people are more important than the citizens of Legacy or Grenfell or wherever else I'm writing about. So because of stuff like that and a general inclination to spend my time on other things, it slipped. 

More and more however, things have gotten back to a normal pace (well, they haven't but I'm doing better with my time management) so my aim is to get back to what I'd said back at the end of 2014- a blog entry per week. Or more. 

To hit that goal, a fair bit of this may dive into journal-like stuff instead of whatever format I've done until now. Ok, so there hasn't been a set format- I find that way too restrictive and quite frankly, boring. If I'm going to do this, I want to have some fun. 

Sometimes I'll talk about what I'm currently reading, what's going on in my writing life, music, movies, sports, whatever. And you're welcome to read or not as you please. If you could care less about hockey; skip that one. If you're dying to know my thoughts on the Big Two versus the rest of the comics industry- tune in. 

I'll give on quick warning/disclaimer. Since this isn't a formal sort of thing, expect there to be rambling. I will literally be sitting at a keyboard and typing out whatever the blog is about and posting it- I don't do second drafts on here. Spellcheck, sure, but that's it. 

The series profiles that I had mentioned doing awhile back ARE still coming. I'd wanted to do them sooner but, again, it hasn't worked out yet. More interviews are also coming- since I did the original batch I've met a TON of awesome writers, artists and whatnot- people whom you really should get to know. They're cool as can be and super talented as well. Who doesn't want to get to know people like that?

If there's anything that YOU want to see me write about in here- drop me a line! I am more than happy tackle pretty much anything you can think of. And if I don't know anything about the topic, I'll research it! It's good practice and always fun to learn new stuff. 

Well, that'll be it for today. I'm not going to have a set day (I don't think, anyhow) that I'll be posting new entries, so we'll see you next time. 

Oh and I still plan on knocking out those 52 posts this year. 4 down, 48 more to go. Luckily it's only halfway through August, huh?  ;)