What should you name your darlings? (Check out this cool blog.) Should your characters have names that are easy to pronounce? I read Game of Thrones, where there was an overabundance of characters with hard-to-pronounces names, yet the fantasy world begs for fantastic names. There are a few easy names as well: Robb Stark, Jon Snow. My current work is a fantasy novel where all the names are short: Po, Nic, Tip, Dee. How do you name your “babies?”
If you all haven’t noticed I love my posts to ask you questions about books or writing or publishing or something in between. It gives me a chance to interact with every one of you who chooses to offer your insight. And I do mean insight, because yes I’ve written a book that I love and am working on my second, but I’m always looking for advice on how I can become a better writer and I’ve already gotten so much from you guys just in the last month or so from your comments and feedback. So let’s talk about naming characters, shall we?
There are SO many aspects to a good book, right? The first line. The title. The people who made it happen behind the scenes. The storyline. The dialogue. AND the names of all the characters. I would never go so far as…
You attempted all the tried and true tricks to removing writer’s block, but did you soak your feet in ice water? Did you soundproof your walls and ceiling with cork? Hemingway is rumored to have written The Old Man and The Sea while standing up at his typewriter! Here are some truly bizarre writing block tips according to an article at MentalFloss.com:
1. Voltaire skipped lunch. Instead of a mid-day meal, the French titan sustained himself with chocolate and up to 40 cups of coffee per day.
2. The dark, gruesome work of Edgar Allan Poe was written under the supervision of a cat. The tabby Catterina sat on the writer’s lap or perched on his shoulder.
3. Sir Walter Scott preferred to write in motion, often while riding his horse.
4. Word counts work for some writers. Anthony Trollope set a goal of 250 words every 15 minutes.
5. Victor Hugo went on self-imposed house arrest to finish The Hunchback of Notre Dame. He even locked away all his clothes, so he wouldn’t be tempted to get dressed and go out. But Hugo wasn’t naked—he wore the same gray writing shawl for months.
6. Like many of us, Charles Dickens sometimes worked while traveling. But he couldn’t do it without his five bronze animal statues, paper knife, green vase, desk calendar, blue ink, and quills. Good thing he didn’t have to work at a coffee shop!
7. Dickens also insisted on writing in a specific blue ink. He wasn’t attached to the color — it just dried faster, so he didn’t have to waste time blotting.
8. Lewis Carroll literally wrote purple prose. He penned his manuscripts in the same violet ink required for grading his math students at Christ Church College in Oxford. This way, he could easily switch between tasks.
9. The three musketeers on Alexandre Dumas’s desk were piles of color-coded paper: pink for articles, blue for fiction, and yellow for poetry. [Okay, this one isn’t too bizarre – actually a quite reasonable idea!]
10. When Herman Melville needed a break to revitalize his creative juices, he worked the fields of his 160-acre farm.
11. John Milton spent the last 20 years of his life blind, but not being able to see didn’t slow him down. He’d start writing poetry in his head around 5 a.m., and an aide would arrive at 7 a.m. to take dictation. Milton called the process “getting milked.”
12. With his publisher’s deadline for The Gambler looming, Fyodor Dostoyevsky hired a stenographer named Anna Grigoryevna Snitkina in 1866. The two finished the novella within a month and married a year later. Dostoyevsky dictated his work to her for the rest of his life.
13. Proust turned his bedroom workspace into a cocoon, covering his windows with shutters and dark curtains and lining the walls and ceiling with soundproofing cork. Blotting out the sun and the noise was a necessity since he slept all day and wrote all night.
14. Nothing stimulated poet and playwright Friedrich Schiller’s creatives juices like the smell of rotting apples. He kept a drawer full of them in his desk. That wasn’t his only writing quirk—Schiller also enjoyed soaking his feet in ice water to stay alert.
15. Scottish biographer James Boswell was a tremendous writer, but he wasn’t great at waking up in the morning. To solve this problem, he designed a bed that would physically lift him up and set him on the floor. He never got around to building it, so servants ended up doing the heavy lifting for him.
Inspiration: during a meditation, I imagined regressing into a past life as an Avatar representing water. I don’t know where the era of 724,000 years came from, but it is best to trust your muse and write whatever surfaces without censoring thoughts too much. One of the important tactics in overcoming writer’s block is to honor the creative process and write the words that come to you. Don’t get stuck in edit mode for too long. Keep writing & keep sharing! – Cronin Detzz
I was toiling away at a short story for the longest time—-it was an elusive bastard of a thing that simply refused to cooperate—-but there I was knee-deep in the rising action stage and the words were flowing at a pretty decent clip and some of it was even good if i do say so myself—-
And then I hit the Duh Moment.
It’s that precise instant when a puzzle piece your subconscious has been working on without your knowledge slips into place and your entire universe makes absolute sense. What’s the matter with me? The solution is so simple! How did I not see this before? It was staring me right in the face, plain as day!
One of the single best experiences when writing. That magical moment of crystal clarity. And it lasts for just a moment.
Just like the episode of Star Trek where the Eymorgs…