If you've ever read L. M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables and you've read beyond the first book, you know that she enjoys going for walks through cemeteries. When I first read that I thought she was a little strange (of course this is Anne Shirley we are talking about).
But yesterday I decided to walk through this beautiful old/new cemetery that I live about five minutes away from and it was no where close to being as creepy or strange as I thought. The best part about the whole thing is that I even got to pretend I was being productive. Let me tell you one of the most common sense thoughts to ever cross my brain. Are you ready? Cemeteries are great for names!
Whenever I am writing I have a hard time coming up with names and when my characters refuse to tell me what they would like to be called, I have to make something up that I can later replace if I need to. Usually I go for names like Sarah or Tyler, nothing too out of the ordinary but not particularly old fashioned. Or if I am writing something in the fantasy genre I try and make up names like one of my favorites Avianna, Avi for short. Or Ivanna which is close to Avianna on purpose. Regardless, I never feel like my names are good enough and for last names I am even more pathetic. I use the most common last names like Johnson or Jones. I have to really try to come up with anything else. But now I don't have to try hard at all. I took a steno notebook with me and put first names on one side of the line and last names on the other and now I can mix and match them. Below are a few examples of the gems I found on my walk yesterday feel free to mix and match them for your own stories. Oh and find the nearest cemetery to you and go on a stroll through the graveyard (notebook in hand of course).
I finished editing the first draft of Insomnolex last weekend, at least on paper. I still need to transfer those changes to the computer and work on add scenes and drawing character development out but overall I'm happy with the story.
Something else has me distracted though. A new story idea that came to me one night while I lay awake listening to my husband's slow and steady breathing (thinking how unfair it was that he can fall asleep in five minutes but it takes me anywhere from 20-40 minutes of tossing and turning). It was a simple thought that it would be interesting to take a kid, a boy, and stick him on an island inhabited only by a society of children. That was it and now the story is taking off like a train, slowly at first but gaining speed with each word I write.
At first I was concerned with getting to know the characters. This is usually how my stories come to be. Me and my mom have often discussed the fact that as along as you have interesting characters that the reader becomes thoroughly invested in, you can have a mediocre plot and still have the book be a great success. However, having a mediocre characters, even in an above average plot, definitely has a smaller impact on the reader. Reader's bond with the characters and want to feel like they are right there with them. Which is why having interesting and unique characters can make all the difference in a story.
K. A. Jairl
My name is Kim and I'm glad you stopped by. This is where I post my triumphs and my downfalls as I fight the good fight of being a writer mom everyday.