Thursday, July 1, 2010

My Domino Effect And Brilliant Words From Nicola Morgan

Earlier this week, I blogged about FINALLY discovering my MC's name. I was thrilled, to say the least, to be able to call him by name. He was finally complete. A whole person. Little did I know that naming him would cause a domino effect on my MS. The more I plugged his name into my story, the more I realized that he was so much more than I was writing him to be. My story was going down like a stack of dominoes.

I found myself surrounded by pages upon pages of a story that was not adequate for his character. His story was/is so much more than what I had written. Naming my character gave him depth. It gave him a purpose. It gave him new life. The life I had previously written for him was okay. But the new life I was imagining in my head was spectacular!

Am I sad that the 14,000 words I labored over mostly no longer fit my character? NO! Okay, well, maybe a little. As a new writer, I look at everything as a learning opportunity. This was my opportunity to figure out the best way for me to write the story. Should I have waited a few months to figure out my MC's name so I didn't waste 14,000 words? No, I honestly think this was the process I needed to go through to find his name.

As author Nicola Morgan points out in her brilliant blog post There Are No Rules for Writing - Just Results: "Write your book in whatever way works for you...The method, the route you take, matters zilchly. All that matters is the result."

When I finally finish rewriting my story and it's fabulous, no one will care that I scrapped the first 14,000 words. Not even me! (Who knows, along the way I will probably write 14,000 more words that don't work.) In the end, it doesn't matter how I got there. What matters most is that I'm at the end with a story that I believe in and can't wait to show the world.

Let the writing begin!


  1. Hello! You very kindly emailed me and said you'd quoted from my blog post here - thank you! Funnily enough, I am part-way through writing a blog post on nailing your character. I hadn't thought to mention the name being so important but you're absolutely right that it is. I can't even get writing the story at all until I have the name. Names are weridly crucial.

    I mean, can you imagine having a hero called John? I know several lovely men called John and I'm not saying they couldn't be heroes in real life, but John in a novel?? I don't think so!

  2. Thanks Nicola! I don't know why it took me 14,000 words to find my MC's name. I had the other characters named before I even wrote a word. He is a very complex character who undergoes a huge transformation in the story. Maybe I just needed to sketch out his character with words and discover who he truly is. In the end, it was all worth it!!!

    (And I have to agree...I can honestly say that John, while it is a lovely name, was not on my list of possible names.)