Choosing the perfect name

For me, when I start a new story, it’s very important to have the perfect names assigned to my characters. Once the story begins, I rarely change the names of the main characters, although I may change the names of secondary ones. It’s very important to know the personality of the character as well as their history. The story will flow better if I’ve gotten to know my characters well enough before hand.

I was curious to popular names for people born at the end of the 1800s/early 1900s. I Bing’d what I was searching for and found this interesting link. It’s the Social Security Administration’s website.

It will provide you popular names any time after 1879.

Happy searching!

Christy

Inspiring You Thursday: The Art of Perspective

I’m not sure how much this will inspire you, but perspective is a tool that makes or breaks the way I look at a story line.

Every character, like every person you meet in life, has a perspective. I’m always amazed when I speak with friends, family, even those I meet in passing – never to see again – to learn someones perspective on a topic.

Women can be and are more sensitive than men. If a woman has a friend that doesn’t call her, isn’t on email as much, that woman may begin to think the friend has a problem with her(the woman). This could send the woman into a tailspin. She could begin to see that maybe her friend isn’t the only one not calling as much. She’ll realize she hasn’t heard from her sister, her brother, her friends 2, 3, 4, and 5.
Before long, the woman has built this world around her in which she is hated by everyone and can’t do anything right.

In reality, Friend 1 could’ve been really busy at work or with whatever responsibilities she has. The sister could have been ill and didn’t feel like conversing or emailing as usual. Brother probably got tired of all the drama and conflict on the Internet community or the back and forth bickering of the family and decided he’d turn the computer off for a while. He can go clean the gutters if he gets bored. If not, there’s always a ball game or a race on television.

These are just a few examples of how one person’s perspective can be completely opposite of what the reality is.

Perspective is a wonderful tool for your characters whether your writing a novel or screenplay. Every scene should have a goal, and therefore, every character should have a perspective of that scene and of the other characters around them. Think how fun it will make your plot if every one’s perspectives are different, yet they’re all vying for the same goal. How they reach that goal, if they reach it, will be the fun part, especially watching the paths each individual takes.

Be sure you’re aware of the perspectives of the people around you. Consider those you work with, those in your household, and pay attention to people when you’re out in public. What you bring back to the computer to mold and form for your own characters will definitely be a work of art, in the form of perspective.

Tuesday Writing Tools: Birthday & Name Meaning


Picture thanks to This Old House.

While working on a character sketch, I ran across this interesting and fun site.

Paul Sadowski.com gives you all sorts of info about what your birthday says about you on his birthday calendar as well as what your name means across the world. The birthday calendar hit my personality to a T!

I used other birthdays for my hero & heroine and it helped me in that respect to build their personalities and make them even more real. I’d recommend using the “what does your name mean” tool if you need a little brainstorming boost to learn more about your character. The birthday calculator would work well if you’ve been detailed enough to assign your character a birth day. Most character sketches will list an age or birthday as something for you to fill in.

Women in Uniform

Since writing my manuscript has completely eluded me… And I really did give it a good try this weekend… I’ve decided to shift gears and rethink the entire setting of my never-ending WIP (work in progress).

Contemporary settings are what I’ve concentrated on in the past, with fleeting thoughts of one day writing a historical. Yet it’s books set in another time that I’m drawn to. Perhaps that’s what I should be writing. And since I’m not writing, maybe I should start researching.

I’m researching the Civil War, with thoughts to set this novel after the War ends. Already I’ve found an interesting website: Civil War Potpourri.

I had no idea there were women who disguised themselves as men to fight in the War. I guess when I imagine anytime before 1900, I picture Scarlett O’Hara sitting on the steps of Tara, teasing her beaus. (I know, I really need to get out more.)

And I’ve got to say this scene from GWTW is one of my favorite scenes. Mammie wants Scarlett to eat before she goes to the party and Scarlett puts up a fuss. She doesn’t concede until Mammie threatened her, which is why Scarlett’s giving this look. She know’s Mammie’s got her right where she wants her.

These women went into battle with men. Many fought gallantly and weren’t discovered until they were injured or became sick. There was one woman, “Jennie Hodgers, who stowed away on a ship leaving Ireland bound for the United States in 1844, disguised herself as Albert D. J. Cashier and served in the Illinois Volunteer Infantry from 1862 until the end of the war…” She wasn’t discovered until long after the war, “when at the age of 66 she broke her leg in an automobile accident-and the doctor at the veteran’s hospital found her out. The secret was kept, however, and she successfully drew the veteran’s pension she was entitled to for her gallant service.” Go to the Women in Uniform page to learn more.

And if you’ve heard more stories like this, come back to share!

Women in Uniform

Since writing my manuscript has completely eluded me… And I really did give it a good try this weekend… I’ve decided to shift gears and rethink the entire setting of my never-ending WIP (work in progress).

Contemporary settings are what I’ve concentrated on in the past, with fleeting thoughts of one day writing a historical. Yet it’s books set in another time that I’m drawn to. Perhaps that’s what I should be writing. And since I’m not writing, maybe I should start researching.

I’m researching the Civil War, with thoughts to set this novel after the War ends. Already I’ve found an interesting website: Civil War Potpourri.

I had no idea there were women who disguised themselves as men to fight in the War. I guess when I imagine anytime before 1900, I picture Scarlett O’Hara sitting on the steps of Tara, teasing her beaus. (I know, I really need to get out more.)

And I’ve got to say this scene from GWTW is one of my favorite scenes. Mammie wants Scarlett to eat before she goes to the party and Scarlett puts up a fuss. She doesn’t concede until Mammie threatened her, which is why Scarlett’s giving this look. She know’s Mammie’s got her right where she wants her.

These women went into battle with men. Many fought gallantly and weren’t discovered until they were injured or became sick. There was one woman, “Jennie Hodgers, who stowed away on a ship leaving Ireland bound for the United States in 1844, disguised herself as Albert D. J. Cashier and served in the Illinois Volunteer Infantry from 1862 until the end of the war…” She wasn’t discovered until long after the war, “when at the age of 66 she broke her leg in an automobile accident-and the doctor at the veteran’s hospital found her out. The secret was kept, however, and she successfully drew the veteran’s pension she was entitled to for her gallant service.” Go to the Women in Uniform page to learn more.

And if you’ve heard more stories like this, come back to share!