Tuesday 18 December 2018

A Rose By Any Other Name

A Rose By Any Other Name

One of the oddest things in writing is changing the name of a character or of a book. Sometimes, authors do it themselves. When writing a book with a big cast it's easy to end up with names that are too similar. In a w.i.p. I changed Cari to Nanette (because I had a number of C-names already) and Gerard to Sebastian (because there was already a Gervais in the story). It was surprisingly easy to think about the characters under their new names. I once changed a character called Melissa to Melinda at a very late stage simply because it was a ghost story and between my beginning the book and finishing it, a book called "Melissa's Ghost" had been released.

It feels a bit more problematical when someone else makes the change. I've been disconcerted more than once to find the published version of my book has a change of character name. This is especially annoying when a carefully chosen thematic name gets changed to a generic one.

Book titles - well! That's another story.

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