Monday, April 1, 2013

Writerly Quirks

Okay, so I've been dabbling with a new novel. They were honestly words of intuition. I have done no planning. No plotting. No saving of cats or beating of plot lines.

I was just writing.

And I realized as I was going along that I have a writerly quirk. It's names. I re-use the same names over and over again.

Ruby, for one. And the last name Carpenter must really sing to me for some reason. I think I've used it four times, in four different novels.

But that's not all, my friends! Oh no! I steal names too. From critique partners (Joel), and family members and students and billboards (come on! You've done it too!).

I really don't get this quirk. There are like, a bajillion names. And I'm choosing the same ones over and over again?

Pathetic. (Ha!)

Do you have any writerly quirks? What are they?

19 comments:

Laura said...

Ha- me too - Lilly is a first name I constantly use, and Anna... and I'm a terrible name thief, but always within the same dozen!
Lx

E. Arroyo said...

Ha! Me too. Everyone wants to be a Sarah Miller. Thank goodness for find/replace. =)

Donna K. Weaver said...

Wow. And they let you get away with that? Lucky you. I love the Internet for names--and people I meet or know. lol Why not?

JeffO said...

Funny thing on names, I seem to have a thing for last names that start with 'K'. I have to go back and change them.

SA Larsenッ said...

It's funny how we grow comfortable with certain aspects of our writing. LOL A quirk of mine: I'm a tad too bossy when it comes to stage directing my characters. Geesh...

Natalie Aguirre said...

Interesting. My characters tend to say "no way". Funny how we get quirks in writing like our regular life.

Stacy McKitrick said...

My quirk? Besides using ancestor's names, I had used names for the H/H beginning with either a J or an S. Male J, Female S (and vice versa). Didn't seem like it was such an issue until I wanted to put one couple into the book of another. Uh oh! Too many Js and Ss!

I still use the ancestor's names, though. It's like a piece of them lives on.

Liesel K Hill said...

For some reason, I have a thing for M-names. Maggie, Marcus, Maylin...the list goes on. I have to consciously tell myself to explore other letters of the alphabet. Weirdly, there's only one person I know who has an M-name. It's not like it's a major part of my life or anything. Who knew? :D

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I've done the name thing too, in the same ms. And it looked like my 17 year old character had an affair with a 40 year old. I had accidentally given his ex-girlfriend (who is mentioned once) the same name as another character (who is also mentioned only once). Oops!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Oh, and I tend to kill off male characters whose name starts with T. It made my beta reader, whose name also starts with T, nervous. lol

Peggy Eddleman said...

Yes! The name thing for me, too. I named my MC's mom early on, but only refer to her like once in book 1. As I was doing a re-read of book 2, I got to the part where she finds out about her birth mom, and realized that I given her the same name! D'oh. Her dad? Yeah. His name has been a character in every book I've ever written.

ilima said...

My characters really like to breathe each other's breath, lol. Never had the problem of reusing names, BUT I tend to make all my MC's names start with K. :)

Cheree Smith said...

I find that I tend to use the same names too, especially Cate and Bec. I also have a thing about apples, in all of my stories my characters tend to grab an apple (I didn't actually realise I was doing it until one of my beta readers pointed it out).

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Oh, I've got a naming quirk, too. I keep going for girl names with prominent V's in them: Evie, Verity, Geneva ...

I told this one character: "You CAN'T be named Evangeline. It's too close to Evie, and she has a prior claim."

However, Evangeline refused to be called anything else. And her novel sold first. I don't know how I'm going to break the news to Evie ...

Nicole said...

I've noticed I do have some phrases that seem to pop up in multiple books. :)

Daisy Carter said...

Jonah. Every main character guy I've ever written about is named Jonah at first.

No idea why.

Julie Daines said...

When I needed a name for my main character, I said to my 17yo son, start naming all the guys in your 3rd period class. He went down the list, and when he said Christian, I said stop! That's it. The name fit perfectly.

Chelsey said...

One time my entire writing class had a Kyle.

I tend to work in the name Alaister, and to use "N" names. I have a Natalie and a Natasha, in different MSs, and I've always wanted to write a Nessa....

Anna Staniszewski said...

Anytime I have a female teacher in a story, her name is always Mrs. Brown. Maybe she's the character who ties all my projects together? :-)

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