Sunday, July 26, 2015

A Step in the Write Direction--July 27, 2015--Short Stories--Selecting Names

A Step in the Write Direction

July 27, 2015

Update: A week of taking the good with the bad (well, not necessarily bad but unexpected). The good: Met with surgeon Thursday and was told: no shoulder surgery and no more physical therapy. That only made it worse! (Could have saved 12 appointments at $30 each if I could have seen him first instead of all the assistants.) He gave me a Novocain injection and it started feeling better the next day….Saw the lung specialist Friday and he’s trying a new medicine—Symbicort—which is helping already!...Received the life insurance from the company I’ve been fighting since March 27, but only a little over half I expected as there is a reduced rate at the age of 70 (we didn’t know this), but I’m thankful for what we received….Found another “slip and fall” policy we can collect on IF the doctor will add addendum to the death certificate stating death was due to a fall (this wasn’t on the original)….The unexpected: Right now our mobile home is 99 degrees! New air conditioner coming tomorrow, hopefully. Bless some dear friends who brought over a twin mattress Saturday night for my office which has a stand-alone air conditioner….Finishing the FINAL proofreading of A Step in the Write Direction and will send it to the publisher tomorrow. This is the new version which will have assignments throughout so will be great for home schoolers, classes in Christian schools, and writers’ groups.

Thought for Today: You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream (C.S. Lewis).

Song for Today:
            When all around my soul gives way,
            He then is all my Hope and Stay.
            On Christ, the Solid Rock, I stand;
            All other ground is sinking sand.
            All other ground is sinking sand.
                        Edward Mote, “The Solid Rock”

Laugh for Today:                  The Divorce (long but humorous)

A judge was interviewing a woman regarding her pending divorce. He asked, "What are the grounds for your divorce?" She replied, "About four acres and a nice little home in the middle of the property with a stream running by." "No," he said, "I mean what is the foundation of this case?" "It is made of concrete, brick, and mortar," she responded. "I mean," he continued, "what are your relations like?" "I have an aunt and uncle living here in town, and so do my husband's parents." He said, "Do you have a real grudge?" "No," she replied, "we have a two-car carport and have never really needed one." "Please," he tried again, "is there any infidelity in your marriage?" "Yes, both my son and daughter have stereo sets. We don't necessarily like the music, but the answer to your question is yes." "Ma'am, does your husband ever beat you up?" "Yes," she responded, "about twice a week he gets up earlier than I do." Finally, in utter frustration, the judge asked, "Lady, why do you want a divorce?" "Oh, I don't want a divorce," she replied. "I've never wanted a divorce. My husband does. He said he can't communicate with me."

Writer’s Tips: (Short Stories, continued)      Selecting Names

Be careful choosing the names of your characters. Try to have them fit the time period in which you're writing. For example, popular names today are Ashley, Brynne, and Nicole, but you wouldn’t want to use these names in a story that takes place in the 1800s. I’ve met several women named Debbie who were born the same year as our son. It was a popular name in the sixties.

The Writer’s Digest book Character Naming Sourcebook (Sherrilyn Kenyon, Hal Blythe, and Charlie Sweet, 1994) includes more than 25,000 first and last names and their meanings from more than forty-five countries. It also lists the top ten most popular names in the United States every year from 1880. The Internet has sites for nationality-specific names, and you can get ideas for names from newspaper stories, movies, television programs—even telephone books.
Names tend to fit characters. A high society girl may be called Penelope (no offense to any readers named Penelope!). An old-fashioned girl may be named Bertha or Freda.

In the original draft of Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell called the heroine Pansy. That doesn’t sound nearly as intriguing as her final choice of Scarlett.

Watch also for various spellings of the same name, depending on the country in which the story takes place. For example, John may become Sean or Juan or Ian. Mary may be Marie or Maria. Also, don’t have all the characters’ names begin with the same letter. Show some variety.

 Have a good week spreading the
gospel through the printed page.

Donna Clark Goodrich

·          100-Plus Motivational Moments for Writers and Speakers – half-price $5, $2.69 s&h (This is free if you purchase 5 other books.)
·          BIGGER SALE: A Step in the Write Direction—the Complete How-to Guide for Christian Writers—on sale NOW--$10.00, $3.22 s&h (only 16 left)
·          BIGGER SALE: A Step in the Write Direction—Student Edition with assignments throughout—on sale NOW $8, $2.69 s&h)
·          The Freedom of Letting Go (new one coming out will have discussion questions; can be used in S.S. class or small group); original copies without questions now on sale for half-price--$7.50, $2.69 s&h
·          BIGGER SALE: Healing in God’s Time (story of Dave Clark, composer of 25 songs that have gone to #1 on the charts); was $15; NOW $8, $2.69 s&h
·          The Little Book of Big Laughs—105 purse/pocket-size book of clean jokes—$5; up to 4 for same s&h—$2.69
·          Preparing Your Heart for Christmas (31 Advent Devotions) half-price—$5
·          Michigan and Ohio Cookbooks; half-price $5 each, plus s&h (depending on number ordered)

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