Adventures in Naming Characters

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One of my favorite parts of writing is choosing my character’s names. I love creating characters with strong, distinct personalities who are memorable.  I love the names I chose for my characters in The Legend of the Light Keeper, but I will admit, those choices taught me a thing or two. You’d think choosing names would be easy, but here are some of my stumbles that prove otherwise.

Spell Check: My first issue was spell check. I had chosen the names  Lily, Hunter, and Talon that would NOT pick up on spell check since lily, hunter, and talon are nouns and perfectly acceptable not capitalized. I had to keep a close eye on those words, especially Hunter and Lily, since I’m not an ambi-shifter, and can’t shift using my left hand. (Oh the shame! I’m the Zoolander of typing.)  What I finally did was use my Find feature in Word to go through and double check and make the corrections. In the end, I’m glad I kept the names I did, because after writing four more books using those character names, they’ve kind of grown on me. I couldn’t imagine them named anything else, but choosing differently from the start would have saved me a ton of trouble.

Keeping it simple: I’ve learned choosing common spellings is best. Throwing in a ton of extra letters, changing the common Y to EE, or adding in a strange Z and a silent G, H, or X is only going to create more work for me and my reader. I’ve read so many books that had some really memorable names that were spelled ten kinds of crazy, and I didn’t want to do that to anyone. Besides, I tried that once and then found myself going back to see how I spelled the name, because it was so strange that even I couldn’t remember how to spell it. And you’d think a simple name like Cate would be easy enough, but no, I even had to add Cate to my dictionary to avoid all of those annoying red squiggles. I loathe red squiggles.

Avoiding confusion:  Another thing I did with The Legend of the Light Keeper, that didn’t survive past the editing process, was name Lily’s grandmother Grammy. That alone would have been great, but with Owen and Hunter’s grandmother being named Granny, it kind of made for confusion, not only for me, but for my readers. So in the end I changed Grammy to Gram. I learned to make sure that my readers can distinguish who I’m talking about with ease.  Having to pause to figure it out only slows a reader down.

So you see, even the simplest things like choosing a character’s name is not so simple. Writing is a fun adventure just like reading, so if you’re a writer or aspiring, I hope this helps to make things smoother, if not for you, then for your readers. There is a method to the madness. Happy reading! Oh, and…Happy writing! 😉

Author Spotlight-Mireille Chester

This week’s blog is in honor of Mireille Chester’s new release, Crossover (The Chosen Trilogy: book one)! Today is her release day, and I’m gearing up to go celebrate with her at her release party! So join me in congratulating her and wishing her the best of success!

 

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Crossover (The Chosen One Trilogy: book one)

 

Description:

Twenty-three-year-old Hayden Carlson never led an exciting life, but that was how she preferred it. She never expected that an innocent trail ride in the woods would change her life forever. Suddenly, Hayden is pulled into a world she never knew existed and discovers a future awaits her there she isn’t prepared to accept…until she meets the mysterious Jasper. Drawn to his quiet, conflicted spirit and entranced by his blue eyes, Hayden finds herself experiencing feelings she has never felt before and wondering where all this might lead.

Hayden’s presence in Quelondain creates tension. Amidst constant danger, she finds true love and through it all determines where she will take her stand in the conflict her arrival ignites between good and evil.

If you love fantasy, action, and romance, Crossover-Book One in a debut Fantasy Romance trilogy by Mireille Chester—is for you.

 

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Author Bio:

Mireille Chester is a stay at home mom of three children and wife to an amazingly supportive husband. Her time is spent playing with the kids, reading, writing, and watching movies with her hubby.

Mireille is a fantasy author who loves to spend time in made up worlds filled with magic. She is a firm believer that no hero is perfect and that all villains are burdened with a tiny shred of humanity. While she writes her Adult and YA novels under the name Mireille Chester, she is now writing a middle grade series under the name M.G. Chester.

 

Other books by Mireille:

 

Adult

  1. The Chosen One Trilogy: Crossover, Journey, Destiny
  2. The Witteck Chronicles: A Witteck’s Dream, A Witteck’s Call (coming soon)
  3. Angered Season

 

Young Adult

  1. Tyler’s Story
  2. Chael’s Luck

 

Middlegrade as M.G. Chester

Faerie Dreams:  Dreamwalker, Lady of the Lake, The Little One (coming soon)

 

Where to find author on social media:

Website: http://mireillechester.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/218242291718752/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MireilleChester

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4820829.Mireille_Chester

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Mireille-Chester/e/B0051XI3QO/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1433179315&sr=8-1

Smitten with Inspiration

 

Do you ever wonder where the ideas of your favorite authors come from? What goes on in their heads to be able to create the things that we read? I’ve often times wondered in amazement at not only the words, but the perfection of the story unfolding. Through books I’ve been able to go to some awesome places and meet some amazing characters. I have a few favorite authors I’m so inspired by, that I’d pay to spend just one day picking their brains.

Back in 2008 I lost my father. It was a very hard time for me. I found myself having to grow up, take on more responsibility, and be strong for those around me in a way I’d never had to do before. I took comfort in reading books that took me away and allowed me to escape for a while into another world.

As an artist, I not only admired the authors, but I was curious what it took to create on that level. Not just with paints and canvas, but to create worlds with words and paint pictures in a readers mind. I’d dabbled with writing poems and songs and even a short story a time or two, but I had never really created anything on the scale of a novel or the worlds I was reading about. Inspiration struck, and I was smitten.

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As smitten as I was with the idea, I was also unsure how to begin. I needed a message, a plot, characters, a world, and an ending. So I began a process that took me on the great adventure of writing a book.

Working on my Light Keeper series has been a wonderful time and I’m blessed to be having it published with Booktrope. My life has taken a wonderful turn and I find myself devoting more time to writing and making art with words. I’ve had several great opportunities to do interviews for bloggers and the one question that I am asked over and over is what has inspired me to write. The answer is simple. I was inspired by other authors and I wanted to see if I could. So I did. Of course I had a lot of encouragement to actually do something with it, but I took that first step on my own.

Creating my Light Keepers and taking my readers on a journey with Lily and her friends has been so much fun. Lily is an ordinary girl with extraordinary gifts and talents, which she’s just scratching the surface of. Like Lily, we all have some amazing gifts and talents. I was inspired to write, so I chose to send the message about how we should all use our gifts and let our inner lights shine. It’s an important message and I’m glad I didn’t sit content to just dream of writing a book. I hope by doing so, I’ve inspired others. If you have a dream you should go for it. See if you can. You might surprise yourself like I did.

Happy Reading,

~Kelly <3