Jan. 19th, 2010

taylweaver: (Default)
A lot, apparently.

Especially when it comes to characters in my novels.

I've known for a while that it's important for me to feel like the name matches the character. And I think I knew that sometimes character grows a bit out of the name.

But this evening, I think I figured out why I was feeling like a novel I wrote last spring just wasn't working.

It's the name of the main character. It somehow gave the narrative a certain flavor that didn't feel like my own, and made the character's personality different from what i wanted.

Which means that, when I eventually try to rewrite it, I will be giving the main character a slightly different name - and I can already feel him morphing in my head as I consider the possibilities. The difference between Elvin (the current name) and, say, Alfie (one of the possibilities) is huge. (Also considering Elvis, and a few others. And definitely open to suggestions, though it's not urgent. Currently working on the novel from a year ago November, in which all of the names are just fine.)

As an aside, by way of explanation, I needed his name to sound a bit like Elephant, and the day after I got the idea, a student named Elvin walked into a room where i was working in one of my schools. It sounded perfect. But now, I am realizing it may be far from it.

Anyway, it won't be the first time I've changed a name after at least part of a project is written. (Even changing Hayley to Hailey made a difference), but it's the first time I've realized a name might be a major reason a novel isn't working the way I want it to. 

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taylweaver

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