Why posh breakfast cereal does not work and why you can’t call your characters thingy, whatsit or oogiemaflop.
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post called ‘Warning, May Contain Nuts’ where I discussed the wording associated with breakfast cereal. Actually, it was to do with my participation in the Taekwondo World Championships, for which I was trying, in vain it turned out, to be in my normal weight division, middle-weight. The big day came and there I was, in my
suit, all prepped and ready to go. I’d completed the training, denied myself chocolate and booze for, oh, several days, and I was ready to go. England
My division was called up and I was taken away to be weighed. I deliberately wore big knickers as I knew it would be touch and go and lo and behold, I was a few grams over. So the belt had to come off, then the suit, and the Bridget Jones pants were there for all of the Skydome Arena to see. If several hundred people are going to see you in your underwear, you might as well make a statement about it. Unfortunately, no matter what I did, I could not lose that final few grams and I had to go into the heavy-weight division. Actually, it wasn't so bad; I fought well but didn't progress enough and if you’re going to lose, it might as well be to someone nearly a foot taller than yourself.
The funny thing was an old pal of mine, who is very good, turned up. She was very supportive throughout and coached me during my round. She also happens to have the same initials as me, let’s say they were L Jay for my pen name’s sake, and she came second overall. Excellent stuff, the other L Jay fought well and earned her place in the final. Problem was, some people thought it was me who had got second place and for several days, came up to me to congratulate me. No, my eyeballs would roll skywards, it wasn't me, it was the other L Jay; I went out in the first round because I was too porky to be in my normal division, but thanks for noticing anyway.
So what have I learnt from this? 1. Apparently, hot weather does not suit me as a swell up like a balloon. 2. Posh cereal does not work; I swear I was thinner when I used to eat Crunchy Nut Corn Flakes. 3. Names are important.
And so now for the vague writing link. While writing my new novel, I've been having a hell of a job choosing names for my main characters and I can’t think of a decent title. You can’t keep calling your characters Bob, or Fred, or thingy. So instead of calling my female characters Sarah 1, Sarah 2 and the other one, I put out a request on my Facebook page and got some much better suggestions. So
won and I really like it. I called the other one Tamsin, a pseudonym for someone I knew who was not very nice. That’s the beauty of fiction, you can do what you like to them. After all, look what happened to Stewart in The Ghost Hunters’ Club novels … Savannah
Then there’s the title. First I thought of ‘The Safest Place’ – already been used several times – ‘No Safe Place’ – already been used – ‘The Woman in Blue’ – sounds a bit like Susan Hill’s The Woman in Black, only paler – ‘The Lady in Blue’ – sounds like the God awful song by Chris De Burgh Lady in Red – oh I don’t know. So the working title is currently ‘Ashwood House,’ the name of the house that it’s set in. Or it will be until I can think of a better idea.
So how do you think of names for your characters, and titles for your stories? And any suggestions for my new novel would be most appreciated, as it currently runs the risk of being called, ‘
Sees a Ghost and It Is Blue.’ Savannah