The heroine in my novel does not have a name.
Neither does the male protagonist, for that matter. The cities have no names. The bad guys have no names.
NOTHING HAS A FUCKING NAME.
My outline goes something like this: “[heroine] does this” “[scholar] does that.” “[heroine and scholar] enter [unnamed town]” Blah, blah, blah. Add in the multi-colored highlights signifying various details in my crazy brain, and it looks like a rainbow threw up on my computer screen.
The only thing I hate more than trying to come with names for characters, is trying to think of titles.
When I was writing fanfic, it was even more hurried, because I had to think of a title before I could post the first chapter. Thanks to some great friends with quick minds, I’ve been able to have some pretty great names for stories. (Looking at you, SaberWing and QuietRaine…) At least this time around, I don’t even have to worry about a title if I don’t want to–until the very end.
Characters, on the other hand, need names like, yesterday. I know that I can’t start writing and then go back and replace every instance of [heroine] or [scholar] with the names I decide on. I mean, I could, but that would be the biggest pain in the ass. And let’s face it, I’m just way to fucking lazy to have to do it anyway.
My son has suggested a few names for my heroine. “Pizza.” “Dumb-face.” “Stinky Butt.” While they are, admittedly, awesome names, they’re really not the feel I’m going for. He was bummed when I politely told him I would not be using his ideas.
I guess my problem is that I don’t want the names to sound too “normal.” After all, this story is a fantasy novel, set in another world. The characters can’t have names like “Chuck” and “Bertha.” I know there’s name generating websites out there, I’ve utilized them for my Star Trek fanfic in the past. But I would really like to be able to come up with the names myself.
Right now, my novel is still in the planning and outline stage, and will be for some time. I’ve given myself an ultimatum that before my kid goes back to school, my characters WILL have names. That’s 20 days…not that I’m counting. (This Mama loves spending summers with her boy, but it’s time for school to start. NOW.)
Until then, [heroine] and [scholar] will just have to suffice.