An editing rod for my back

Discussion in 'Authors' Hangout' started by Dansak, Apr 27, 2024.

  1. Dansak

    Dansak Really Really Experienced

    When I first started writing my latest story, Project Harem, I named my main character Jessica. In dialogue with other characters, it seemed natural that they would call her Jess for short.

    But for reasons that now escape me, in the narrative I continued calling her by her full name, Jessica. Nearly 60k words later it's created a hefty editing burden to maintain the consistency in the different use of her name in the narrative versus the dialogue.

    It's yet another lesson learned, when I start a new story in the future I'll be cautious of making editing rods for my back.
    TheLowKing and Zeebop like this.
  2. TheLowKing

    TheLowKing Really Really Experienced

    I do this all the time! It's a bit annoying for the writer, perhaps, but I routinely pick names for my characters specifically so they're nicknameable. It adds a bit of personality to the person being addressed, and is a nice shortcut for showing that two characters are close: you don't address your boss' boss by calling her "Kaykay", after all. Just looking at three of my more recent stories, I've got Kathleen, Natalie, David, Taylor, Michael, Samantha...
    Zingiber and Dansak like this.
  3. Dansak

    Dansak Really Really Experienced

    I definitely learned early to pick names that are easy to write, I think this is the reason you see so few double barrelled first names in stories! I have favourites too, Elizabeth and it's variations feature a lot in my work, as does Katie, Jack and Max. Also names that are flowers, Poppy and Lily are great names I use a bit to often.

    The other thing I sometimes do is try to fix the name to hint at the characters personality, a tip I picked up on a writing blog somewhere. In a story I wrote about characters with Irish Celtic ancestry, I chose the characters names by their Irish meaning, such as Erin, meaning child of Ireland, who at the end of the story goes to live in Ireland.

    Typically male names are another favorite I like to give female characters, Charlie and George(ie) chief among them for me.

    What I absolutely cannot do is name characters after people I know well, there's a whole host of names I'd love to use but can't because they're close relatives or friends.
    Zingiber likes this.
  4. Orkiegirl

    Orkiegirl Virgin

    I’m constantly trying to use slightly more out there names in fantasy writing. A favourite character (and dnd character) of mine I’ve been writing about is called “Lavorra”. I love the name, but man is it a pain having to type that out and battle with autocorrect every single time!
    Dansak and TheLowKing like this.
  5. Impregmaniac

    Impregmaniac Really Experienced

    This is my constant struggle.

    Other than that I'm fighting between using overly common names, slamming my head against my keyboard and hoping for the best, swapping out letters that might make a same but different name, or just giving up and using a name generator to varying success.

    I do tend to default to unisex names like Alex, Charlie, or Morgan though.
    Dansak likes this.
  6. RachelDaws

    RachelDaws Virgin

    Depending on the program you are using, you can add the name to a personal dictionary. For example with google docs, you just click on the "error" and then there should be 3 dots. Those will lead to an option to ignore the misspelling and add it to your dictionary. It helps immensly for names.

    The trick I found for using names that I like that are of people I know is either using a nickname that person hates that is a derivitive of that name, or just using a massively different spelling. Doesn't always work, but I've found it pretty useful.
    Dansak and Orkiegirl like this.
  7. Zingiber

    Zingiber Really Really Experienced

    @Dansak I managed to trip over the "heritage" one, with Tamara the nail salon artist and Tamara the college student daughter of a doctor and nurse. I needed to draw a little more deeply into biblical names, oops.

    Fortunately I don't expect them to meet, but at least one character has scenes with Mall Tamara and Summer Break Tamara.
    Dansak likes this.
  8. raziel83

    raziel83 Really Experienced

    In one of the stories that I had written chapters for, I noticed at some point that I had mixed up a few terms along the way and now I wonder if I should go back to redo stuff or not.

    In another story, the Lilith Strain, I noticed at some point that the creator left the writer instruction to keep to the original two POV characters and not switch up. ...But almost every writer to the story has broken this rule already.
    Dansak likes this.
  9. Dansak

    Dansak Really Really Experienced

    Not keeping to the requested POV would be a big issue for me, I'd reject the chapters.

    As for going back and changing the mix up...for me it would depend on how big the mix up was versus how complicated/long winded it would be to fix it. If it were an easy fix I think I'd do it.
  10. raziel83

    raziel83 Really Experienced

    80% of the chapters would have to be removed by now. The story is old enough to have been big during CHYOO time before the migration to CHYOA and I'm not sure how long it has been since the creator of the story was last here. I too had missed that writer guideline as others had been ignoring it for years already.
  11. chris_brown

    chris_brown Really Experienced

    The original author was last here 5 years ago