Thursday, September 27, 2018

Naming Characters

Names are so important. The difference between naming a hero Timmy or Lance changes how the reader perceives him. Which one do you see with a broadsword?

I've got some very important characters coming up in my latest book and their names are giving me fits. How symbolic should they be? And should the symbolism be obvious or subtle?

Sometimes when I'm reading a book and I come across an unusual name, I wonder if I'm missing the significance. Is that a Greek god or Scandinavian? Is it a reference to a Native American origin story? And then I'm totally thrown out of the flow of the story because I'm thinking too hard about the name.

I've been spending an inordinate amount of time in the thesaurus. I'll pull up a word and click through to various synonyms looking for exactly the right feeling. I spent half a day looking things up. That really cuts down on the word count.

I spent another afternoon lost in baby name sites. There are a lot of derivations of names. Changing the spelling on something simple isn't going to work in this instance.

And I've been warned not to use too many names that start with the same letter. In one rough draft, I once had five people talking together and all of their names started with the letter L. They were all very distinct in my head, but my beta reader was very confused. I try to be more careful now.

Changing the name of an already established character can be very hard. So I've got to get these right or my readers will definitely call me on it.



Thursday, September 13, 2018

Readers Block Again

I haven't been able to read lately. I could blame it on stress and insomnia, but I'm not sure if they are the actual culprits.

Nothing appeals. All my favorites are no longer enticing. I've been loading the Kindle up but not reading anything. I've started a couple but lost interest. I can't decide if the books need work or it's just my brain right now.

I have always been a voracious reader. We hit the library on a regular basis in my childhood. I would take out the max - 6 books, I think - every visit. Getting a library card was one of the first things I did whenever I moved. Now with cheap and free ebooks, I download a lot on to my Kindle. But I just haven't been reading.

My tastes have changed, but there are plenty of books out there in every genre and subgenre imaginable. And I have been happily sampling a handful of them, but nothing is really sucking me in right now.

Too many distractions lately I think. The work on the office has finally begun. I am so excited about that! My own work space! Woo hoo. I am finally going to get all of my junk into one place. I will be so organized. I hope. But the extra people in the house and power tools are not helping my ability to focus.

And the yard needs a ton of work. And I've had a bunch of small chores on my to-do list for months. And then there's that hurricane headed my way. Maybe while being stuck inside the for 4 days of torrential rain I'll pick up a book and find my way back.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Blood Relations in Print


Finally!

Sheesh. I have been tinkering back and forth with this for too long. The print version of Blood Relations should be hitting the retailers soon. I just approved the final proof on CreateSpace which is a bit tricky.

Apparently Amazon is closing down CreateSpace. They are doing a rolling migration of the authors over to KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing). I haven't gotten the magic migration button yet. And that was a big relief because I still had a book under review and was worried what-all might happen.

So there is a possibility that some books might disappear. Since I don't sell a lot of paperbacks, I wasn't too concerned, but it wouldn't be fun. I have heard stories of people losing books, covers, jumbled insides and a gamut of other problems. There's always issues when you change over to a new system. Fingers crossed that I get to be one of the lucky ones without any problems.

It will be interesting to do the next book on a new site. It will be book 5 for A Changed World. I hope it is as easy as CreateSpace was.

But first I need to get that book written. Tillie's raising a ruckus and Wisp has left town with Nick to go find...well, I'm not ready to share that yet. Partly because I'm not sure how it's going to come out. Lots more complication will ensue!