I Have A Name!

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I have a name!

That’s the message I sent my friend, Kayti, this evening as I left my wax appointment and headed to meet The Husband for dinner at ABC Cocina.

TMI? Maybe, but that’s the world we live in these days, so who fucking cares. Girls get waxed. You know this, I know this, whatever.

Anyway, back to the point of this post.

So I left Completely Bare, all bundled up and hoping to stay warm in the frigid Manhattan night, hit the streets, and shot out that message, all excited and shit.

I have a name!

Fucking finally.

See, for the past two months or so I’ve been slowly working out my next trilogy, developing my story line, world-building, that kind of thing. Unlike when I wrote The Sanctum and everything sprung from my creation of Dev, this go round has been quite bizarre and scattered and not character-driven at all. Instead, I have random details so fine-tuned they already feel perfect while other, very important aspects remain up in the air.

For example, I know my first sentence.

And it’s kind of special.

Not Marquez special – you know the sentence I’m referencing, only one of the most perfect first sentences ever drafted, and now that I’ve referenced it, I must also reprint it here, just in case you don’t know it, that’s how good it is:

Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.

You read that and cannot help but wonder: why is he facing the firing squad? Why did he need to discover ice? Who is his father? And what of that afternoon?

Anyway, as I was saying, my first sentence isn’t Marquez special, but it’s pretty fucking sexy and I cannot wait to put it down on paper. Not literal paper, but you know what I mean.

So I’ve got my first sentence…

and I’ve got my guy.

Dutch.

God, I love that name. He sounds like someone who can press you against a wall, fuck your brains out, make you come, and then do it all over again. Not saying my Dutch will be fucking anyone’s brains out, or making anyone come, but the potential exists because with a name like that, god only knows what he’s capable of.

But I don’t have my girl.

I take that back. I have parts of her – her personality, her look, her attitude, and her back story. But not her name and for me, when I create a character, the name is vital. It’s researched and contemplated and suffered over for quite a bit before it feels right, like Wyatt, who began life as Riley, but was always far too stoic and serious to be a Riley. Or it slams into me and is perfect, just like that, suddenly and urgently, like Dutch. That name hit me, out of the blue, and it is utter perfection.

But my girl…nah.

She’s being difficult and elusive.

And she’s killing me because if you know me or have been following my writing, I love fierce girls, badass bitches, and I especially love creating them. So walking around with an “almost” girl, which is how she feels without a name, feels like a sin. How can I have my guy, know him, know what makes him tick and not have just as much of my girl? In what world does this happen?

Not mine, bitches.

Except that it does. Because the fact remains that while I’ve been spending the last month getting to know Dutch, she – my “almost” girl – has remained partially hidden, teasing me, taunting me, flashing me a glimpse of thigh, a curve of breast, and then covering back up and disappearing.

All because I don’t know her name.

Actually, I should say didn’t know her name…

because now I do.

After weeks of pouting that I can’t give her the name I wanted because I thoughtlessly used it on a minor character in The Sanctum Trilogy, her name crept into my conscience and just like that, I can see her in all of her glory, the ugly and broken, the powerful and commanding, and finally, I am able to start writing the story of…

Dutch and Juma.

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9 thoughts on “I Have A Name!

  1. I love this post. It’s so amazing how to hear a writer talk about how they discover/find/create their characters and titles and all. Love it. I also love the names Dutch and Juma.

    • Thanks! It feels so weird and almost disconcerting to know my guy before I know my girl. I’m still getting my head around that fact. Hopefully now that I’ve got her name, she’ll catch up to him developmentally.

  2. Woah, Wyatt is definitely not a Riley, at all. Besides Ryker and Riley sound way too twinnie.
    Dutch and Juma sound like a badass duo though, and they sound cooler as the day progresses. Can’t wait to see what they get up to. 🙂

    • Wyatt was Riley, Jools was Zelda, and Ryker was Jojen and then was Boone (!!) and his brother was Leo, before he became Sachin. Max was originally Josiah. Ha! And Carter and Ava had another son named Oliver. Guess I nipped that detail in the bud real fast, because I only see Oliver mentioned in my Sanctum family tree.

      Only Dev and Darby stuck.

      And you’re right – Wyatt is so NOT a Riley. At all. Ever.

  3. yeah I’m a biiiig fan of this post. not just because I’m excited that there’s a new trilogy in the works (which, yay!), but because I’m always so into hearing about what makes writers tick, how their processes process. it’s so cool that we can all go about these things so differently, prioritize such different aspects, and yet all arrive somewhere near the same place.

    and LOVE the names by the way.

    • The process is always so interesting, and so different for each writer. For me and my characters, it really is so much about the name. I don’t know why, I can’t explain it to you, but it matters. I’ve totally suffered over my characters’ names and like I alluded to in this post, I really haven’t been able to start writing this new story because I didn’t know her name.
      And now I do, so it’s all a go. Dutch and Juma…love them already.

    • If I can ever pull myself out of my Wyatt-Dev withdrawal funk, then I will get to working on Dutch and Juma’s story in earnest and I think you’re right – they’ve got some edge…and some sharp points and some darkness.

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