Tuesday, May 11, 2010
My name is ...
One of the things I had to do while editing was make one of my male characters more appealing. Trouble was I'd been writing about him for so long I couldn't get my initial image of him out of my head.
It occurred to me it was his name that was the problem. Names are so evocative, tending to conjure a certain type of person, and the name I'd chosen isn't one normally seen in chick-lit.
Okay, he wasn't called Pogo or Woopsie (apologies to any Woopsies reading) but I had invented a type of character to go with the name. In case any of you are ever daft enough the read the book - IF it ever gets published - let's say I called him Maurice.
Leading men are rarely called Maurice in romantic comedies. If they are you know they're going to be losers in love, gay or somebody's granddad. I might as well have written in ginormous letters "BY THE WAY, SHE'S NOT GOING TO END UP WITH HIM!"
I was reminded of a couple of films I've seen - can't remember their names, I think one starred Sandra Bullock - where the leading lady started out happily married or engaged to a rather non-descript actor I didn't recognise (I watch a LOT of films) and I knew immediately he would wind up dead or dumped in a very short space of time, and I was right - she copped off with Antonio Banderas (or whoever) in the end.
A small detail, but one that gave away quite a lot and I think my character's name would have had the same effect.
Just changing him from Maurice to Hunter-Gatherer (I jest but you get my drift) shifted my perception straight away and I was able to 'write' him more appealingly - I hope. No more Brylcreem and ham suppers with mummy for my man - no sireee.
Not that he was having ham suppers with mummy - I'm not THAT obvious.
As an aside, it's quite hard getting away from the usual names for leading men - Matt, Nathan, Jack, Zac etc.
Maybe we should start a campaign to bring Cyril, Bertrand, Norman and Keith back into fashion.
at May 11, 2010
To coincide with my 10th year of blogging (TEN YEARS??!!!) I've decided to move my blog over to my website, where I hope to update...
100 posts! This time last year I was a Blogging Virgin. Now I’m a bit of a slag. It’s become the highlight of my week, both reading yours an...
A wonderful start to September, as I've been signed by award-winning digital publisher Bookouture for a three book deal. I'm...
(gratuitous photo of puppies in a basket, for added cuteness) The year is well underway, and there have been all sorts of political s...