Friday, October 27, 2006


The Problem of Names

So I'm deep in preproduction on End of the Century, doing some last reading and research the next few weeks while outlining the thing in detail, before diving into the writing proper. My hope is to get the novel finished by the end of the year, as I've got several other projects lined up after it. The problem is, I've decided that I hate the name of one of the three main characters. The other two (Galaad and Sandford Blank) are fine, no complaints. But the young female protagonist of the section set in 1999 is giving me nothing but grief. In the original pitch, her name was Samantha Lake, but over the summer I realized that it wouldn't work for a number of reasons. In July, I started casting around for a replacement name, and in the intervening months I've gone through dozens, trying to find one that fit. But I'm still coming up short. It's the kind of problem where, as close to it as I am, I've lost all objectivity. This afternoon I thought I'd hit upon the perfect solution, but when I told Allison about it on the phone tonight, as soon as I said it outloud I realized I hated it. (To be fair, Allison hated it, too.) I think I've come up with a suitable replacement since, but I'm not terribly confident that this one will work, either.

Suffice it to say, if in 2008 you pick up a copy of my new novel End of the Century and start reading about the exciting adventures of the young American runaway, First-Name Last-Name, don't be too surprised.

Hehe, I know about that. Last year I worked on a space opera and before I knew it I had a 171k story. But here's the kicker, I wanted to change the sex of the antagonist from a man to a woman. I'm still in the middle of changing all the 'he said she said' stuff. What a mess. I'm still only about halfway done on that.

What's in a name? Everything.

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