writingfunny3When I passed out pages 30-40 of my most recent work in progress (working title: Intuition--subject to change), I had named my main character after somebody I used to know. Let’s call him Joe. I had no intention of keeping that name, but I needed the inspiration to get me focused on some key personality characteristics. I just couldn’t get that exact inspiration if his name was–umm, really “Joe.”

But at about page 45, I thought, “Now I need to change it before it gets weird.”

I passed out the next pages, knowing my critique members may have some issues with the change.

Me: “Here are my pages–oh, and by the way, Joe is now “Nash.”

Next critique meeting later….

Jen and Darbie: Not a direct quote, but certainly the sentiment. “We don’t like Nash–the name not the guy.”

“Okay. Well, let’s take a vote. Since we’re all going to be reading this together, we might as well all like the name. And I’m certainly not married to Nash.”

A proposed list of names flew around the room, but between the three of us–each of us with teens who have problem-child friends and adding in another level of Darbie’s profession as a continuation high guidance teacher–we were having trouble finding a name we all could agree on. One that didn’t have associations with some kid that bugged us for some reason.

That’s how Levi was born–who used to be “Joe”–who used to be Nash.

I think that’s why I find this comic so freakin’ funny. The only issue I have is with the title. I mean, come on “Indecisive?” That’s not indecision is it? It’s more like carefully calculated inspiration. At least I think that’s what is.

Come to think of it, I don’t really like Levi that much either. Maybe if I take some of Shay’s lines and give them to Levi, I’ll like it more.


Just sayin’.

4 thoughts on “Ch-ch-ch-changes…

  1. Ha! I’ve been there! And I recently asked a close friend if I could use her last name for a character, because it just seemed perfect. She said yes, she’d be honored…without even asking if the character’s wackadoo or anything. Great friend. (The character, for the record, is one of my favorites.) Keep us posted on how Levi/Nash/”Joe” fares. 🙂

    • Totally go around asking STRANGERS if I can use their names, QS! It’s so nice to be in like company. I always preface it with, “I’m sure everybody asks you this, but…” They’re usually puzzled by that! Keep you posted on LNJ–but first, I’m SO finishing Paige’s new ending today! Happy writing!

  2. I read your post with David Bowie playing in my head. I often wondered how writers “name” their characters. Once I have been introduced to said characters in a novel their names always seem to be a perfect fit.

    • It’s an art I haven’t quite mastered, Janet. The best names I’ve ever seen are on “24.” That writer should teach “name” class!

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