Wednesday, June 6, 2018

INSECURE WRITER'S SUPPORT GROUT - JUNE

It's June, a new month, and you know what that means. Yes!


Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time. Link to this page.

Ninja Alex J. Cavanaugh is the founder of IWSG. 

His awesome co-hosts for the June 6 posting of the IWSG are Beverly Stowe McClure,Tyrean Martinson, Tonja Drecker, and Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor!

Every month we ask a question that you can answer or not. Your choice. The question for June is:

What's harder for you to come up with, book titles or character names?

This is an easy one for me. With most of my novels the title came first. The title for LISTEN TO THE GHOST, one of my earlier books that is now out of print, the title came to me one summer on vacation. We went to South Carolina to visit our son and daughter-in-law. Charleston is a land of magic for those who love history. They took us on several tours to old houses, some with ghosts, Fort Sumter, White Point Gardens where pirates were hanged, the College, and so many other interesting places. The stories about ghosts haunting some of the houses fascinated me and gave me a story as well as a title.

When we visited Vicksburg and I learned how the citizens survived the Civil War there by living in caves at times, my novel CAVES, CANNONS, AND CRINOLINES was born. No doubt about the title in my mind.

STAR OF THE TEAM, for middle grade readers, came from watching my granddaughter and her friends play basketball. I knew nothing about the sport, but learned and wrote their story.

I could go on and on about the titles, but I won't bore you. Yay!

As for character names, they sometimes take a while to come up with, and I even change them at times in early drafts when they don't sound right.

How about you? Titles or Character Names?

Happy Reading!












94 comments:

  1. As a poetry writer with four books to my credit(well maybe) I found it easier to find the titles than write the poetry and then editing.
    Good post Beverly.
    Yvonne.

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    1. I can see where writing the poetry would be harder than finding a title, Yvonne. Every little detail in a poem has to be just right, and you do a beautiful job.

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  2. Hi there! I love that your titles come to you before the story does. Not so for me. A scene, a snippit of dialogue, or a character steps out of the foggy shadows of my imagination and I begin writing about them, then the actual story coalesces around the free write and I'm off. The title doesn't usually come until it much later for me, if at all. I said as much in my own post for this month's IWSG prompt. Thanks for hosting this month, and happy writing to you. :)

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    1. That sounds like a wonderful way to start your story, Kathy. It's neat how everyone has her/his own way of writing. I'm enjoying visiting new blogs and meeting new writers, the perks of co-hosting.

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  3. Names are usually easier. But in my last novel, i ended up changing a secondary name like a dozen times until I got it right!

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    1. Sounds familiar, Jennifer. I just changed the name of one of my characters in my WIP and this is lots of pages later. Now to go back and change it everywhere. Glad you got your character's name right.

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  4. Great titles! You're the first to say book titles come easier.

    Beverly, thank you for co-hosting this month.

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    1. Oh, really. Mmm, I guess I have to be different, Cathrina.I'm enjoying co-hosting. It's fun.

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  5. Sometimes the spark of an idea takes hold as a title, which gives you a solid foundation.

    Charleston and Savannah are both so full of history. So is downtown Wilmington.

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    1. Yes, Diane, the title shows me where I need to go, at least partly. I haven't been to Wilmington or Savannah, but love Charleston. My current WIP started with a title.

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  6. Wow, you do have a gift for pulling fascinating titles from the plot and location. Nice.

    Thank you for co-hosting this month!

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    1. Aw, thank you, Lynn. They just came to me from what I saw and read. That doesn't always happen, but I like it when it does. I'm having fun visiting new blogs, the perks of co-hosting.

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  7. Interesting how life experiences can spark the story idea and the titles for our stories. I usually have a working title as I write, but by the end of the first draft, the working title doesn't usually work. !!
    JQ Rose

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    1. Yes, they do, J Q, and it's great that we can change the titles when necessary. Character names too.

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  8. I have lists of titles which often spark a story idea. I like to research character names so there is a hidden meaning, something that speaks to the character's character.

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    1. Yes, Bish, the titles often tell me what the story is about, at least partly. It is neat to discover what names mean. Sometimes surprising.

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  9. You know, I think that's the difference. If you have the title first and then write the story, the title is easy. I tend to write the story first, and then retrofit a title.

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    1. Yeah, I see what you're saying, Crystal. The title sort of guides me where I need to go. Like in my WIP the title has only two words and they are my two major characters. So far, it's working. But if your story is written then the title will hint at what it's about. Interesting.

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  10. I've been to Charleston many times from going to see the Juliette Gordon Low House as a girl scout to shopping in the slave market as an adult. I even featured the city in one of my novels.

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    1. Charleston has so much going on it makes a great setting for a story, Tamara. The town fascinates me.

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  11. I'm always very fortunate when the title comes to me right along with the story--if it doesn't, I know I'm going to struggle at the end to figure one out!

    Thanks for co-hosting!

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    1. I understand what you're saying, Megan. The title sort of guides me to what the story is about. Not always, but most times. I'm enjoying co-hosting. Visiting lots of new blogs.

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  12. Titles come easy for me, as well. Old buildings, architecture, paintings, even a landscape can suggest one. But seeding the story with the "right" character names is always a struggle. Thanks for co-hosting today!

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    1. Yes, Lee, everything around us hints at a title, we just have to decide which title. Character names cause me trouble too. They change through the years.
      Co-hosting has been fun. I've visited some new blogs.

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  13. I tend to be that way, too. Titles give me a direction to write toward. I kind of feel the same about character names.

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    1. Yes, that's what I like about titles, Sheri. I sort of know where the story needs to go, not always how but the general direction. And I sometimes change the names I start out with.

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  14. Titles are difficult for me. Thankfully I have wonderful writer friends that help out! Thanks for co-hosting today. :)

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    1. Yes, Christine, friends are marvelous. What would we do without them?
      Co-hosting is fun. Busy, but I'm meeting some new bloggers.

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  15. Want to come up with my titles then?
    Thanks for co-hosting today!

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    1. Ha, ha! Sure, Alex, but I know nothing about space and flying.
      I'm having fun and visiting some new blogs.

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  16. It sounds like you've got some interesting sources of inspiration there! Thanks for co-hosting!

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    1. I guess I'm always looking for a story, Loni, wherever I go. You never know. And when a title comes to mind, I give it a try. It doesn't always work, and that's okay.
      Co-hosting is fun.

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  17. I like those titles--a lot. They not only (likely--since I haven't read the books!) summarize what's going to happen but make me want to read it. The Ghosts in the title--lots of visuals there.

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    1. Thank you, Kali. Yes, the ghost is not spooky but neat, I think. They do tell to some degree what the stories are about. The cover art helps too.

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  18. CAVES, CANNONS AND CRINOLINES is a great title, and I like hearing the story behind it.

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    1. Thank you, Madeline. The story fascinated me when I heard how the people sometimes lived in caves when Vicksburg was under seige. I do not like closets or elevators and would be a basket case in a cave.

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  19. Listen to the Ghost is a great title. I have so many ideas in my head for what that story would've been like. :)

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    1. Thank you, Chrys. Charleston has so many ghosts I just had to write about one of my own. It was fun. She's not spooky.

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  20. Ooh I like that alliterative title. I'm impressed by your title abilities, they're always the hardest for me :) Thanks for co-hosting this month!

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, S. E. Coming up with a good title is fun for me. Sometimes I change them. I'm enjoying co-hosting. Meeting some new bloggers.

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  21. I find character names harder to come up with than titles. Thank you for co-hosting!

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    1. So do I, Cherie.
      Co-hosting is fun. Seeing a lot of new blogs.

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  22. Well you seem to have a knack for coming up with interesting titles, so I wouldn't change your methods. Thanks for co-hosting IWSG this month.

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    1. Thank you, Chemist Ken. Right, if it ain't broke don't fix it, the saying goes. I do enjoy thinking of titles for my stories.
      I'm having fun co-hosting.

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  23. I'm similar to you in coming up with titles. Traveling is a great inspiration for getting all kinds of ideas.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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    1. Yes, it sure is, Arlee Bird. The ideas are there, everywhere.

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  24. Thanks for sharing how you've come up with your titles.

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    1. You're welcome, J. L. Thanks for stopping by.

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  25. Fun to read the history behind your titles!

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    1. Thank you, CV. It is fun when those titles just come to me out of places I've been and things I've seen.

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  26. Mine is character names. It takes awhile to find one that really resonates. For my titles I steal like an artist. Great post. Thank you for co-hosting!

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    1. Ha, ha, get your titles however you can, Adrienne. Besides, many titles have been used before, with many a word or two different. Co-hosting is fun.

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  27. I love knowing that you've changed character names because I've done that too. I've even changed them back again because I was so used to the original name, only to change them again. Hello flip-flopping! :) Thank you for co-hosting!

    Elsie

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    1. Ha, ha, been there, done that, Elsie. Sometimes it takes awhile to get a name just right. But eventually we will. Good luck to you. Co-hosting is fun.

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  28. For me the character names come easily. The titles not so much. It takes me forever to get one in my head.

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    1. But you do get it, Andrea. And it's just right. It's great that your character names are easy. That helps.

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  29. I've had that happen to. In a place and the title just pops in and then you build it around that.

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    1. Yes, Pat. Isn't that exciting. It seems to me to help with the story, like knowing where it's going.

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  30. Great title backstories! I love it when special moments or events spark creativity.
    Very few times has a 'Working' title remained the same by the time of manuscript completion, and I have changed the name of a character or two ;-)

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    1. That's what's so great about writing, diedre. If we don't like a name or title, we can change it. Who knows when that moment will strike with the answers we need? They did not complain when you changed their names, did they?

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  31. Thanks for co-hosting this month. Love learning the background for books. On a brief visit to Charleston, we took a horse-drawn carriage tour. I loved the old houses and history.

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    1. I've enjoyed co-hosting today, Diane. Oh, yes, Charleston is a beautiful city filled with stories. We took a carriage tour too. So neat.

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  32. Thanks for co-hosting this month.
    I too struggle with titles.

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    1. I'm having fun co-hosting, Toi. Hang in there. The titles will come to you, and they'll be just right.

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  33. I'm a newbie, so don't even know what co-host portends, but thanks be to ya anyway! I like your title tales!

    Names are easy for me...if curious, read my blog post, please and thanks.

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    1. Hi, newbie PJ. Co-host means I visit a certain number of blogs to see if everyone has posted about IWSG. Sometimes things come up and a person can't, but that's part of being a member. I will stop by your blog tomorrow. Still have blogs to visit tonight. Thanks for stopping by.

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  34. You're so lucky that titles come so easy for you. Mine is New Story right now. Ha! Ha!

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    1. Well, New Story is a beginning, Natalie. The finishing touch will come to you when the time is right. Maybe as you get further along in the story, you'll have that moment, and your title.

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  35. Thanks for co-hosting today! For me it’s the opposite. I find it easier to come up with character names. Titles are a bit harder. Usually run through several titles before coming up with ‘the one.’

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    1. I've had a fun day co-hosting, Lidy. Thanks. I wish character names came to me easier, but they don't. That's okay, keep trying titles until one says "Hey, I'm it."

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  36. I can't imagine having a title first to so many stories. I just stick a working title on my WIP so I can converse about it and get to writing. I just hope inspiration for the real title will come later.

    I did come up with one title pre-story, problem is I still don't have a story for it. Lol

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    1. A working title works, E.M.A. It can always be changed until it's published. And the inspiration will be there at the right time.
      Ha, ha! That sounds interesting, a title without a story. Hey, that's a story in itself. Good luck with it.

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  37. Names usually come first for me but occasionally I will start with a title like my current work in progress. Apocalypse, Signed, Sealed & Delivered.

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    1. I suppose it depends on the story, Juneta, whether the title or character names come first. Thankfully, we can change them if they don't work.

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  38. Thanks for co-hosting, Beverly! I have no problem with working titles, but I must have the name of a character. The character doesn't become real for me until I have his or her name. If a better name occurred to me, I suppose I would change it. That said, I mostly write nonfiction. All the best to you with writing this month!

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    1. Co-hosting has been fun, Fundy Blue. I understand the need for a name to get the feeling of the character's personality and ambitions for the story. I sometimes change a name too.

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  39. Character names just come to me as I think/write the story. Titles though; ugh, somebody else should do that for me, lol.

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    1. It's great that the character names come to you, dolorah. Makes it easier to write their story, I think. Ha, ha, sometimes titles are tough to think of.

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  40. Thanks for co-hosting our fab group, Beverly! Love hearing about everyone's different creative process.

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    1. It's been fun co-hosting this week, Nancy. It is wonderful to hear how other authors work.

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  41. My titles often come last, after a story is written. The names though - I need them as I write. When a character name doesn't fit, it nags me until I come up with the one that does.

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    1. Yes, I understand, Olga. It's hard to write about a character without his/her right name. Sometimes I've had to change mine too.

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  42. I've only visited Charleston once, but it was beautiful and full of character so I can see how it would inspire you. Thanks for co-hosting!

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    1. It is a lovely town, Jennifer. If I didn't hate to fly I'd visit my son more often to see the city.

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  43. Hi Beverly, looks like we are opposites as book titles are difficult at best for me to come up with. Character names however are a challenge for me.

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    1. Yup, opposites, Stephen, which is okay. And coming up with the right name for a character isn't always easy.

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  44. Hi Beverly!
    Thanks for co-hosting the IWSG this month.

    I struggle with character names. My characters remain Mrs. B, Mr. X and Miss Y for a very long time.
    But I'm fine with that.

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    1. I've had fun co-hosting, Michelle. Ha, ha, well those are good names while you're writing the story and hopefully the perfect name will present itself to you when you least expect it. Since you're fine with it, that's okay.

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  45. Hi, Beverly! Thanks for co-hosting IWSG's June question. Sorry it's taken me so long to visit. My mom's been ill.

    Character names are tough for me too. And I'm not exactly sure why. Great post. All best to you!

    http://victoriamarielees.blogspot.com

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  46. Hi Victoria. Co hosting has been fun. Met a lot of nice people. I hope your mom is better now.
    Yeah, names are tough. I'm thinking about changing one of the names in my WIP. Maybe, maybe not. We do the best we can. Thanks for stopping by.

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  47. I do love a good ghost story. Those are good titles! I do better with character names.

    Thanks for co-hosting!

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    1. Co-hosting has been fun, Deb. Ghost stories are fun to write.It is interesting where we get our character names. Thanks for stopping by.

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  48. I've been trying to come up with a title for my diary novel. I often question how I got my character names.

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    1. Sometimes it takes awhile for the title to come to us, Jamie, then all at once it's there, the perfect title. And character names are interesting how we think them up. Writing is great.

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