I am currently working on book #74. That’s a lot of stories and characters to try to remember. So many that I keep a spreadsheet of all of my major character names (heroes and heroines mostly but sometimes one or two other major characters, especially in my women’s fiction novels). I don’t want to risk reusing protagonist names.
I don’t worry too much about repeating the other characters’ names. After all, you can have several guys named John in the same group. There’s no way you can populate many different novels and not have more than one character named John or Pete or Sam. (FWIW, I keep individual book character name spreadsheets as well that contain all of the characters in that book.)
I was asked to put together a short synopsis of the stand-alone novella I will write this summer. I’ve known more or less what the story was about for a couple of months, but I never progress very far with my ideas until my hero and heroine have their names and they become real in my head. Then it all starts gelling.
Well, that’s what happened to me this morning. I “discovered” the hero’s and heroine’s name for this novella, and then the ideas started coming like corn in a hot popper spilling into a bowl. The feeling I get when I know the essence of my story is intoxicating. I LOVE being a writer in those moments more than at any other time. And I am now totally and completely smitten with my hero and heroine and cannot wait to finish the current book so I can start writing this one.
Not only that, but getting this novella idea written down caused me to get some much needed inspiration for my novel in progress. Both Book #74 and this novella are set in Kings Meadow and have some overlapping characters. I suddenly understood how I can introduce my novella characters and the part they will play in my current novel as secondary characters. BONUS!!!
For the record, yes, boots at a wedding (see above photo) has something to do with the storyline. Get ready for a little Boot Scootin’ Boogie.
Photo credit: Molly Germaine