Friday, January 28, 2011

Renaming characters

So the main thing I'm working on today is brainstorming new names for a couple of my characters. I guess you could call one a secondary character and one a minor character. Let's call them B and C for now.

They come as a team. They work together and are almost always together when they do appear. But B has a bigger influence on the main characters. C is just a bit player.

So the first thing about their names is that they are a little bit "Dickensian," in the sense that I use a little bit of phonetic and lexical horseplay to make the names reflect or comment upon their personalities. Like how someone dishonest and treacherous might be named Grift. That isn't my usual style, but in this story it's more appropriate and I'm having a little fun with it.

I came up with B and C's names before I really began writing the story and certainly before I got to the scenes where they first appear. Which means I had an idea of what they would be like from the very start and the names B and C to reflect that.

But then they emerged on the paper somewhat differently from planned, so now their original names no longer suit them. Thus the need to brainstorm new names.

This is also important because for now the working title uses the names of these characters, even though they aren't the major characters. They are guardians of a central mystery. It's sort of like if Harry Potter wasn't titled Harry Potter but The Hogwarts Academy. You'd have to be sure that the name Hogwarts was what you really wanted for the academy.

That's probably not a good example, because it seems pretty dumb to name the Harry Potter story after the school he attends. It seems to miss the main point. . . . The Wizard of Oz. That's a better example. It's Dorothy's story, but the thing she is pursuing or searching for is what the story is named after. That's more like the route I'm going in my working title. And the situation I'm in is like if Baum had originally used a working title like The Wizard of Topeka before the story took off in a little bit of a different direction and he decided to rename it.

So anyway, the working title that I've been using for the last five months is now suddenly something else. Which is kind of a big deal.

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