June 6 question – What’s harder for you to come up with, book titles or character names?
I can spend the better part of a novel writing about MainCharacter, Sister#1, and Love Interest, but then, I name a lot more characters than I do books. You’d think that would make it easier, but I’m actually leaning the other way. I’m very nail-bitey about what to call that character. What’s a good Viking name? No, one that sounds a little more gritty than Erik.
No… I have like six first cousins named Ragnar. They’ll never stop fighting about which one of them is the hero. (Also, it sounds so television-y. Wasn’t Jennifer Love Hewitt dating a Ragnar a while back?)
I’m using a placeholder until something good occurs to me. The placeholder has to be something I can globally search and replace (like (space)Tkmc and not something where there will be twenty-seven other words that include the word. Like “Ed.” Ed makes a lousy placeholder name. And my placeholder has to stay the same the entire time I’m writing the story. So, it can’t be tkmc on page one and tksally on page 126. By the time I start revising, I won’t remember all the various names I’ve given my main character.
A name for the book works pretty much the same way. Naturally, I have to type something to save the thing on my hard drive, but in general, a name does occur to me before I’m ready to send the book out. (Right now,) I think that’s easier.
Alex J. Cavanaugh (@AlexJCavanaugh)