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Showing posts from February, 2014

Name Game

Hello friends!

Today one of the students in my class asked a question I have heard nearly every writer I know ask.  How do you come up with character names?

For starters, it depends on the world of your story.  If your story takes place in this reality, most of your work is done already.  Think about the era in which your story takes place, the approximate age of your character, and then do some math to figure out the year of their birth.  Then, plug that year into a search engine along with the phrase "popular names" (you may have to add some qualifiers depending on if your characters are from Mumbai, Memphis, or otherwise).  Then you can choose from, say, twenty names, as opposed to trying to think of one off the top of your head.  Granted, you kind of have to trust the internet, and the farther back you are looking, the more you will need to broaden your search (so, instead of 1873, search 1870's or 1800's), but that's better than nothing.

What if you aren'…

Knowledge By Association

Today is Valentine's Day.  If you only let the people you care about know that you care about them on holidays, please consider what exactly it is that makes your relationship meaningful, whatever the nature of your relationship.  And go buy chocolate on sale tomorrow, regardless. :)

At the beginning of the month, the podcast Writing Excuses released this cast, talking about using personal life experiences in writing.  This is an extension of the "write what you know" idea, applied in niche form.
I would like to expand that idea even further to a concept of knowledge by association.
I'll give you a few examples from my own life.  My husband is a Network Administrator/guitarist/footballer (the non-American kind)/body builder/gamer/budding bladesmith.  My best friend and her soon to be husband are aerospace engineers.  My mother has taught public school longer than I've been alive, as well as being THE hostess with the mostest.  My dad served in the Army, is a past…

The Power of the Pen

The title is somewhat of a metaphor, since so few people now write anything with pens that will be read by anyone but themselves.  I believe in your powers of extrapolation.

If you watched the Superbowl on Sunday, or at least the commercials, you probably saw the following ad:
And if you have a social media account, you may have seen some of the responses to that video.  If not, you can take your pick of media coverage about the responses from Fox, ABCCNN, NPR, Huffington Post, or you can just read the comments on the video itself here.  Or use your favorite search engine.  Or talk to people at work.  The point is, you've probably heard or read someone talking about it by now.  
Interestingly enough, the United States has no official language.  
Then yesterday, a truck in front of me had two bumper stickers, the tamer one reading "Islam Sucks," the other reading, "Kill a Muslim for Jesus."  Besides the obvious insensitivity and hate towards Muslims in those s…