Renaming Party

Well, life has sure been crazy the last several months. On top of teaching 10-20 hours a week (plus the accompanying paperwork, prep work, and communication), I have a couple of writing projects and some other things. I feel like I have four jobs right now.

I haven’t had much time (any, really) to write for fun, but after a couple long days this week, I wanted to relax. Also, I fell asleep about supper time and napped for a couple of hours, so I wasn’t quite ready to go to sleep yet. Ah, awkward time of day naps . . . 😉

So, I just had a massive renaming party for my characters. I’ve known for a long time I’ll need to change some of my characters’ names. I tend to use the same letters of the alphabet or the same style of name over and over. A lot of my characters have two syllable, five letter names. Several end in ‘y’. Quite a few have two syllable, five letter names that end in ‘y’.

I had 4 characters whose names start with ‘C’, 5 characters whose names start with ‘K’, and 6 characters whose names start with ‘D’. Out of 33 characters. In my group of 5 main characters, two characters had names that began “Che”. Talk about confusing! And when the protagonist’s name starts “De” with five letters and then he gets into a battle with the antagonist, “De” with five letters, it’s hard to tell who’s winning. I get confused as the writer sometimes, so I can’t imagine being a reader . . .

I usually pick names for characters based on the first letter–for example, this character feels like a ‘T’ name or this character feels like an ‘E’ name–so switching the letters is a challenge for me. I think I found some that will work. Most of the names I need to switch are secondary characters, so it’s not so heart-wrenching. The antagonist’s “De” five letter name was always a placeholder, so that’s not too much of a switch. The biggest name change will be for one of my main five characters with the “Che” name. Thankfully, his last name can also be a first name, and characters have called him by his last name before, so I’m used to it. I’ll just drop the “Che”, move his last name to his first, and get him a new last name (perhaps one recycled from a character I’ve had to cut).

Even though switching names isn’t horrible, these are characters I’ve worked with off and on for a long time. It’s hard to imagine them with different names. I may still use their old names while I’m writing and just do a find and replace before other people read.

P.S. You know how some families stick with one letter name for all their kids? I tried that with some of my fictional families, but it’s too confusing. Yet another example of how real life does not always work for fiction . . .

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