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Thursday, 21 June 2007

What's in a Name?

I’m nearing the end of my Australian book, thank goodness, so if you don’t hear from me for a few days you’ll know I have my head down. I re-wrote the beginning of this book a few times before I was happy with it, and if there’s a good thing about re-writing it’s that I already know my hero and heroine. The first time round I had to get to know them – but after a few false starts, after a few thousand words of writing, I got to know them intimately.

Some authors, I know, learn everything about their characters before they begin to write, but I don’t do it that way. I know a few details, obviously, but not too much. It’s like meeting someone for the first time and gradually getting to know their likes and dislikes, their family, their thoughts and ideas.

Even Cade didn’t start off as Cade. He was Joshua. But it didn’t work, it didn’t suit him, it’s perhaps why I was having problems. Once he became Cade he was a much stronger man. And he changed my heroine’s name. I forget what I called her originally but one day Cade called her Simone, and that was it. I think names shape characters. Does anyone agree with me?