Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Gotta Go with What I Know's Real

Everyone should listen to this song, because it's what I'm listening to now, and I'm cool. So obviously the song is cool, too. It's by Poets of the Fall, and it's one of their softer songs. I don't know what music you guys normally listen to, but I normally listen to rock and everything rock-esque. The music that's claimed my soul, though, is the original score and songs to The Phantom of the Opera. 

I don't know where I was taking that, so I'm just going to switch topics now.

My best friend is leaving tonight for her year abroad in Spain and I just hacked her tumblr in about two seconds. This amuses me. And I just tried to spell amuse with a z.

I just realized that I skipped a question on the writing meme, so I must correct this most horrendous ill of all horrendous ills. Ironically, it's the question I was leadt looking forward to answering.

How do you name your characters?
Let me get one thing out of the way: I DETEST NAMING CHARACTERS. 

I think it's the worst aspect of being a writer and creating characters, honestly. I never think that my names are good or unique enough. Especially the last names I give my characters. The most interesting last name I've ever given one of my characters is Matteoli, and I stole that from a driver in the NASCAR Craftman Truck Series. yes, I'm actually a redneck in the middle of Ohio, don't judge me. The second most interesting last name I've ever given a character is probably Feliks. 

I don't really know why I hate naming characters so much. Maybe because it's supposed to be so important and symbolic. For example, in my AP English class today, we read Alice Walker's short story, "The Flowers". It was a very well written short story about a little girl named Myop. When my teacher asked if we thought her name was significant, my friend was the only one to raise her hand. She then said that myopia is the condition of nearsightedness, so it meant that Myop was nearsighted and blind to everything around her until she discovered the skeleton of the lynched man in the woods.

I'm sorry, and maybe this is just because I'm a teenager and an unpublished writer and still learning my craft, but that is the biggest load of bullshit I have ever heard. Yes, it makes sense in the story, but goddamn, my names are never that symbolic. That borders either on genius or ridiculous and I haven't decided what it really is yet.

Enough of the rant, though.

Whenever I need a name, I go to Behind the Name because it has almost all of the nationalities and the various popularities of the names based on the decades, in addition to the meanings of the names. It's damn convenient when you hate naming characters as much as I do. 

Some of my characters just come with names, though. Like with Roulette, I knew that I wanted his name to be Roulette, and then Daniel Gray came out of nowhere. Same thing with Janus, though she doesn't have a complete name yet.

Where are you most comfortable writing? What time of day? Computer or pen and paper?
It depends on the story. I usually write on my computer, which is in my room, from 4:30 to 7:00 PM. That's what I consider to be my writing time, so I'll sometimes spend it planning. I generally don't write past midnight. On the weekends, when I'm not working, any time between 8:00 AM and midnight is fair game. Whenever I'm really inspired, though, time doesn't matter.

Take last night for instance: I finished Stephen Junger's War (which is one of the most poignant, inspiring, and truthful accounts of the war in Afghanistan I've read. Everyone should read it.) and was so inspired that I found a pen and my writing notebook and wrote a couple paragraphs before my reading light gave out and my hand cramped. Then, it didn't matter what I was writing on, or what time it was, but only that I was writing. 

If I do handwrite something, it has to be in pen. I hate pencils and don't use them except for tests, so I don't see why I'd ever write a story with them. I know that some people feel that pen is too permanent, but I love how the words can literally flow from your mind to your hand and then to the paper with a pen, and I've never felt that with a pencil. I adore how pen looks on paper, too, but that's just with black ink.

These blog posts keep getting longer and longer and they're taking me too long to write.


  1. I'm not sure your feelings on the Harry Potter series, but J.K Rowling came up with a lot of character names using Latin. Severus Snape, for example: Severus comes from the Latin for severe and his surname Snape came from a street sign or a village near where she lived, I think. I've found a load of inspiration from place names.

  2. I do take some inspiration from both Latin and streetnames, occasionally. Latin is a subject that every writer should take...maybe that'll be my next blog.

    Thanks for the comment!

  3. I read "Flowers" a few years ago and found out the same thing about Myop being symbolic for nearsightendness, but honestly,I generally think that if the average person has to use a dictionary or name website to figure out what a name means, it's a little pointless. I like to use's name wizard to put in names I like and see what it comes up with. And for surnames I look at streetsigns too.

  4. Oh Christ. xD
    I'm horrid at naming. As I'm an avid player of the nerdiest game on earth. Dungeons and Dragons -dun dun duuun- I usually just name my characters something either totally random, Dezail Sylreggar, is my elf's name, or just pick a name from a book for humans. -Cough- I totally didn't name my human Murtagh...Son of Morzan. Cause no one in my group reads that series anyways, so im good.

    But yeah, when I really have to pick a name for characters, which I avoid like the plague, I usually go for names of acquaintances, people who I don't know all too well and don't have much of an impression of. Or a name several acquaintances have, so that my feeling about the name is neutral. Cause lots of my friends have names I like. Hannah & David are the first to come to mind.

    Occasionally for naming I use a baby name finder, no particular site. If I have a word in mind that's rather symbolic but not obvious or well known, than I'll use it, but I find going out of my way to find a word with a deep meaning rather silly, cause if I need a thesaurus to find it, most other people probably will too. For example, my character who was the human incarnation of death, in a short satirical story I started writing (might work on that for the weekend NaNoWriMo) I named Death, Jared Dirge. Might change it to Micheal though. As in St. Micheal.

    IMHO subtle choices like that seem to work much better in writing than something like Myop. And here I am yammering on again. I'll shut up now.

  5. So I have read over your blog, and really, I mst say, it's awesome, and it's so much better than my writing blog. ( I don't really know what to say on my writing blog. Maybe you could send me some ideas? (my email is on my other blog, My life blog,, is the one I update the most. It has a lot of things on it.
    I really like your blog.