Wednesday, June 6, 2018

#IWSG June 2018

Blog Hop Captain and Fearless Leader: Alex J. Cavanaugh


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

That's a huge toss-up. I mostly . . . struggle with book and story titles. Considering that I write short stories and I submit them as often as I'm able, well, it's not good to struggle with story titles. I usually know what I want to call them after I'm finished writing them. 

So, my current WIP has had at least three different names, and it's "Greenling, Book 1" at the moment. Not very informative, right? It's a superhero book for young teens, either older MG or younger YA. Yes, I should have that nailed down, too. But, I have made some drastic draft changes.

In the draft days, my first novel Champion in the Darkness was either "The Sword" or The Crystal Sword and my youngest daughter drew my first cover in crayon on a blank piece of paper that I inserted into my 3-ring binder of drafts.

Character names usually just come to me in the first draft, or they don't
In Champion in the Darkness, the villain didn't have a name in the first five drafts. She was "the dark sorceress." I finally came up with three different ideas for her name and had a facebook poll. By popular vote (5 out of 8) she became Kalidess. This actually helped with all of my names for the Dark Sisterhood sorceresses, because I decided that once they joined the Dark Sisterhood, they were supposed to change their names and add an "dess" or an "ess." So, Kalidess's sister is Maedess. And, that one locked in the dungeon who didn't change her name, well, there's a reason she's in the dungeon.

My June Insecurity for Insecure Writer's Support Group

I'm co-hosting and I've been having health issues. I actually forgot I was co-hosting until the newsletter came out. Yikes! But, I am here. I will co-host strong in short spurts throughout the day. (My dizziness has been getting slowly better, but it still hits randomly.)

Then, I will probably go into radio silence until an awesome guest post by new author Ellen Jacobson, one of our co-hosts, on June 25. Please come back to support her! 

IWSG NEWS

Next month, IWSG will take place on July 3rd instead of July 4th!

Plus, get your pitch ready for #IWSGPit on July 19th!!!


Create a Twitter-length pitch for your completed and polished manuscript and leave room for genre, age, and the hashtag. On July 19, Tweet your pitch. If your pitch receives a favorite/heart from a publisher/agent check their submission guidelines and send your requested query. 

Many writers have seen their books published from a Twitter pitch - it’s a quick and easy way to put your manuscript in front of publishers and agents. 

Rules: 

Writers may send out 1 Twitter pitch every hour per manuscript. 

Publishers/Agents will favorite/heart pitches they are interested in. Publishers can either Tweet basic submission guidelines or direct writers to their submission guidelines. (Writers, please do not favorite/heart pitches.)

No images allowed in pitches.

Pitches must include GENRE/AGE and the hashtag #IWSGPit. 

Ages: 
#C - children’s
#MG - middle grade
#YA - young adult
#NA - new adult
#A - adult
Genres: 
#AD - adventure
#CF - Christian fiction
#CO - contemporary
#F - fantasy
#H - horror
#HI - historical
#LF - literary fiction
#MCT - mystery/crime/thriller
#ME - memoir
#NF - non-fiction
#PB - picture book
#PN - paranormal
#R - romance
#SF - sci-fi
#WF - women's fiction


58 comments:

Kathy Karch said...

It has never occurred to me to use a Facebook poll to suss out a good name for a character, but I like that idea. I might try that at some future point in time. Character names both are and aren't hard for me, if that makes any sense. Easy because I don't put a lot of time or thought into them. I pick names instinctively. Hard because I can end up with names that unintentionally carry historical or cultural baggage. When that happens, I have to go back and re-evaluate, and that can be difficult when you've been writing about a character for 50k words. Anyway, thanks for hosting this month's IWSG prompt. Happy writing to you.

The Cynical Sailor said...

Aww...thanks so much for the shout-out :-)

You're such a good egg to carry out co-hosting duties while struggling with health issues.

I really like the idea of polling people as to which name they prefer. I think you came up with a winner with Kalidess.

Cheers - Ellen

Lynn La Vita said...

It was charming to learn your daughter crayon drawing was the cover page in your 3-ring binder. Lovely inspiration.

I finally figured out how to post while I'm asleep. Nice feature and always there to great our east coasters and other folks in early time zones. My replies are scattered around the day/week, too.

Thank you for co-hosting the June IWSG blog hop.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

The titles pretty much always come after the stories are written. For longer works, I usually just use a working title - it won't be pretty, but it will get the job done. :)

I hope your health issues smooth out as soon as possible....

Jamie Ghione said...

I've been trying to come up with a title for my WIP, and it's been hard! I've come ups with a few and have gotten suggestions from others I've let read my draft.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Crystal Sword is good, but I can picture a lot of stories with that title.

I hope you return to full health very soon.

Cathrina Constantine said...

I'm sorry to hear that you're having health issues. Sending prayers. Take Care, Tyrean. And thank you for co-hosting!

J Q Rose said...

I hear ya' on many title choices. I must admit most of my titles come from friends' suggestions. Hope you feel stronger soon. Take care of yourself. Those stories can wait. Thanks for co-hosting!
JQ Rose

Crystal Collier said...

Wishing you better health in the coming days and weeks.

It sounds like our title processes are somewhat similar. Usually I let my husband name my books, but it's difficult when you are restrained by the YA/MG expectation for a one word title, eh?

Tamara Narayan said...

Hope you feel better soon. Whenever I host IWSG, I always give myself up to a week (or more, if needed) to respond to all comments.) It's so wonderful to receive so many comments, but it can be a job to co-host and then respond, especially when you are not feeling your best.

And good luck to all those who participate in the Twitter Pitch Party! I've done so twice and received requests both times, so it is a valuable tool for writers for sure. Kudos to everyone involved in providing writers with this event.

Angela Wooldridge said...

I want to know about the lady in the dungeon now! Hope you feel better soon :)

Megan Morgan said...

I struggle with titles more than character names. My favorite times are when the title comes right along with the idea--but that doesn't always happen, unfortunately.

Thanks for co-hosting!

S.A. Larsenッ said...

It was nice hearing your experiences with titles and character names. I tend to keep both. Not sure why. After reading so many posts on this today, I think I should explore my reasons. The #IWSG pitches will be epic!

Lee Lowery said...

I've found that titles for short stories do seem to write themselves once the piece is finished. I love your idea of adding "dess" or "ess" to your sorceresses' names once they join the sisterhood. Very clever rite of passage. So sorry to hear you're under the weather. Thanks for hanging in there to help co-host.

Nick Wilford said...

I like the idea of a system of character names. It adds another layer of intrigue. I do find stories easier to name than books, for some reason. Books are so much more unwieldy in so many ways!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'm sorry you are struggling with your health right now, Just do the best you can today.

Christine Rains said...

I hope you feel better soon. Book titles are the most difficult for me. I love naming characters! Thanks for co-hosting.

Loni Townsend said...

I hope you feel better soon, and thanks for co-hosting despite being sick!

krystal jane said...

I'm curious about the sister that's in the dungeon. ^_^
It varies from book to book what I struggle with. Most of the time I don't have problems with character names. They usually tell me their names. Not always, though, and when they don't, it takes quite a bit of time to name everyone.

I just saw your bio on the bottom of the page. I think I've always been pronouncing your name with three syllables.

cleemckenzie said...

Characters can be so bossy once in a while. When they speak up and say, "Hi, I'm So and So." it's such a relief. Love how you dealt with the names in Dark Sisterhood! Wonder why that one's locked up? Hmmm.

Kali Delamagente said...

This is a really interesting post--how you work through your character names. I like the 'ess' at the end to indicate the sisterhood. Hmm... I wonder if I can use something like that!!!

Cherie Reich said...

It's nice when coming up with one character's name helps you with the others. I hope you'll feel better soon!

S.E. White Books said...

Facebook polls are an unsung treasure, apparently! How cool that it led you to a neat plot point as well. Thanks for co-hosting this month through the health issues!

Chemist Ken said...

I'm so used to using placeholder names for my characters I tend to forget that they are just placeholders. And when I do finally make a decision on a name, I never find all the old versions no matter how many search and replaces I do. It's a real mess.

Thanks for co-hosting this month. Hope you get some much needed rest.

Mark Noce said...

Yeah, having a killer title is so important. It's what draws the reader in before anything else.

emaginette said...

Doing a poll is a great idea. I'm gonna steal it. hehehe

Anna from elements of emaginette

Julie Flanders said...

I'm so sorry you are struggling with health issues still. I hope you feel much better soon. Thanks for co-hosting even when you're not 100%!
Love the idea of the poll for character names. That's great!

Gwen Gardner said...

Ugh, character names are so tough. I've used placeholder names more than once.

I hope you feel better soon, Tyrean!

Adrienne Reiter said...

Mine is character names. It takes awhile to find one that really resonates. For my titles I steal like an artist. Great post! Sending out healing vibes, and thank you for co-hosting!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tyrean - gosh well done on giving us entry details for the twitter pitch next month ... but good luck with all things and take care - Hilary

Elsie Amata said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your health issues and I hope it's on the mend soon. I can relate as I have my own and understand about getting to everyone's post. Sending positive vibes your way and thank you for co-hosting.

From the east coast,

Elsie

Chrys Fey said...

Co-hosting when you're not feeling well is tough. Take it slow. :)

M said...

Oh, do you have vertigo? I suffer from it, and when bouts it it's the worst! In any case, my sympathies for your dizziness. Thanks for co-hosting!

diedre Knight said...

Terrific job while under the weather! Feel better soon ;-)

Diane Burton said...

Thanks for co-hosting, esp. when you're not feeling well. Hope you get better soon.

Rosemary Johnson said...

Fascinated to read that one of your mcs had 3 different names. My characters' names sometimes change too. It doesn't really seem to matter. They keep their essence.

Toi Thomas said...

Thanks for co-hosting this month.
I too struggle with titles. I'm also thinking of trying social media to select a title down the road.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Funny about the difficult finding the name of your villain through multiple drafts. Hope your health challenges are getting bad. Thanks for co-hosting.

Jemi Fraser said...

Hope you're feeling better soon!!!

I like creating character names - but titles are SO HARD!!!!!

Lynda R Young said...

Love the story behind some of your character names. Sending prayers for better health for you. And virtual hugs.

PJ Colando said...

I'm a newbie and a humor-and-satire writer who bedevils others with puns...

Only blondes are supposed to be dizzy, so may your spells begone!

If you wish to affirm a supposition that I may be blonde...I wrote a short post on the topic today.

Seriously, be well.

E.M.A. Timar said...

I love that your daughter drew a cover for you. That is just so sweet.
I'm right there with you on naming. I stick a working title on my WIP and hope something will come to me later. For my characters, either the name just appears in my mind or I agonize over it. I love the poll idea and love that you made a naming rule from the result even more. (I am a sucker for worldbuilding like that)
I hope you are feeling better soon, and thanks for taking the time to co-host.

Lidy Wilks said...

Thanks for co-hosting today! Coming up with titles is easier than character names for me. I make more title changes compared to character names too.

Fundy Blue said...

Thanks for co-hosting today, Tyrean. I'm sorry that you have health issues. Dizziness is miserable. Kudos to you for hanging in there!

Juneta Key said...

I hope you feel better soon and the health issue clear up. Thanks for co-hosting.

dolorah said...

I thought you were giving up on polls? Once we love something, its hard to turn away, lol. My character names usually just pop into my head, then I do "name meaning" searches to craft a personality around them. Titles are impossible though.

Hope you feel better soon.

Misha Gericke said...

Sorry to read that your health issues are still ongoing. Thinking of you. :-)

Nancy Gideon said...

Thanks for co-hosting this month, Tyrean! "Or not" - a true writer's comment because nothing is ever certain in our world.

Rebecca Douglass said...

Hope you are feeling better! Thanks for following through with the hosting anyway. That's dedication!

I've had some books that have gone a long way without titles, too! And characters whose names have changed in later drafts, though I have to have some kind of name when I'm writing.

Olga Godim said...

Sorry for your health problems, Tyrean. Thanks for co-hosting.

Jennifer Lane said...

HI Tyrean,

Thanks for co-hosting! I like the name Kalidess. She sounds like a badass.

Happy writing!

Stephen Tremp said...

Tyrean, best wishes for a recovery. And you're a real trooper for participating in this month's IWSG even if it did slip your mind.

Michelle Wallace said...

Hi Tyrean!
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.

Hope your dizzy spells fade away completely. Take care of yourself.

C.D. Gallant-King said...

Thanks for co-hosting and I hope your health is improving!

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Victoria Marie Lees said...

Sorry to hear you are struggling with health issue. I wish you a speedy recovery, Tyrean! Titles are difficult, but frankly, I feel the whole writing gig can be difficult at times.

Thanks for co-hosting IWSG's June question. Sorry it's taken me so long to visit. My mom's been ill.
http://victoriamarielees.blogspot.com

Heather R. Holden said...

So sorry about all the dizziness you've been experiencing, and health issues in general. :( That's impressive how you're able to push ahead and co-host despite all that!

Also, love learning how one of your villain's names came to be because of a poll, and how that helped shaped other names, too. Fascinating!

Deb R.H. said...

Thanks for co-hosting, and I hope you're feeling better! Names aren't my forte, either. If they don't pop up instantly, I have to fight for them.