Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Another thing to obsess about

As if my WIP isn't giving me enough trouble - 40,000 words so far and I'm not half done, so it may be a full length novel when I'm finished if my brain doesn't implode first - now I have another problem.

I did something in this WIP that I never, ever do. I named a character after a person I know. Well...I gave a character a name that is the same except for a different spelling of a person I used to know but don't hang around with anymore.

I didn't do it on purpose. Really. It was just a name that seemed to fit and sounded good, but the moment I wrote it down I said, oh, no. I probably shouldn't do this.

It's one of my obsessive things. I don't want anyone to think I put them in a novel on purpose. I may give my characters some traits of people I know, but I don't base anyone on real people. My characters are the fictional people who live in my head. Sure it's possible that now and then one might have a name similar to someone I actually know, but it's not that person.

So now this is bugging me. Every time I see the name I think, Should I change this? This is the character's name. It's the name he was born with in my head, but maybe he should operate under an alias. Then I wonder if that's really fair to the character to make him change his name just because it bears resemblance to someone I know - someone I was not patterning him after or thinking about when he popped into existence.

Then I wonder why I worry about any of this when the plot is giving me seizures and the writing makes my eyes bleed because it's so bad. This story needs serious work, people, and the least of my worries is what the characters choose to call themselves. So why can't I just let it go?

It's my nature to worry about things, to turn little details into big problems. I can't help it. I keep coming back to the fear that someday someone will read this story and say to me, "You put HIM in your story? Why?" I didn't. I didn't. I really didn't. Aaaagh!

Do they make a pill for this?


Jen said...

They made "FIND -- REPLACE ALL" for that.

Breathe woman!!!!!

Gwen Hayes said...

What Jen said. I have a character like that. He's keeping his name til I'm done--then I'm changing it after.

Bernadette Gardner and Jennifer Colgan said...

LOL. Puff-puff-puff-puff

I'm breathing. I'm breathing. ...wait, now I'm hyperventilating.

I'm not sure I could function if I didn't have something to obsess over.