Tip for Choosing Character Names

Thought for the dayWhen I started reading fantasy novels in my teen years back in the 1980s, I struggled with the pronunciation of some of the far-out names authors had given their characters. To get through these stories, I turned names such as Gorggegx in George in my mind and kept reading.

Why fantasy authors feel the need to create strange names always confused me. It came off as part of the genre, I think. When I started writing fantasy stories, I thought about using similar names, but I quickly put it to rest and stuck with names I could pronounce.

Since then, I’ve encountered many odd names in the genre, and I continue to do the same thing: turn them into simple names.

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Shadows in the Stone Update

The Shadows in the Stone manuscript has now been purged of passive words (Part I) and edited by me (Part II). It took a little over a month to complete the 42 chapters in Part II. The word count currently hovers around 127,000, about 3,000 less than I anticipated.

While completing this edit, I learnt I have 65 named characters and 38 place names. There are still two fellows I need to find last names for, but I’ll do that this week.

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Shadows in the Stone Update

Due to kicking myself in the butt a few weeks ago, I finally completed removing words which made my sentences passive from the Shadows in the Stone manuscript.

Grand Total: In 27 chapters, I eliminated 1,424 was, 292 were and 449 that words, reducing the overall word count by 2,837. On average, each chapter contained about 3,000 words, so in the end, it felt as if I eliminated an entire chapter. That’s incredible.

My hope is that after completing this exercise that I’ll think twice before ever using was, were and that words in my original drafts.

Today, I began Part II: The final edit before it goes to the editor stage. During this stage several other tasks take place, such as recording character names and making final name changes.

You can read about Part II on the Shadows in the Stone page. As always, a brief update on my progress appears in the right-hand column of every blog page below the book cover.