What’s in a name?

What’s in a name?

How do characters form?

How are they named?

What are their personalities?

What’s the primary plot?

How about race? Age? Occupation?

Who’s at the door?

What did they have for dinner?

To that, I shrug my perplexed shoulders.

I admire authors who create an outline before beginning to write a book. It’s organized and almost procedural, step by step so that a scene does not occur until a previous event already took place.

If only…

K.C. Ale’s Method:

Bobbing my head to the jam rocking my eardrums. (Likely an alt rock tune). A scene begins to form in my head to parallel each gripping beat. An entire back story infiltrates the scene. This can happen as I’m driving, hanging out with friends, in a restaurant, or anywhere. Sometimes I have to work at the details. Other times they just come to me as I begin typing.

The best part of the creative process is when the characters take over. The story was never mine but theirs. At the intro of Reinventing Fate, Paige Zine’s personality was mousy, wary, and desperate. Several chapters in, she planted her fists on her hips and refused to go on until I was true to her character. That was when the mousy part took over… as in the mouse connected to my laptop. Weeks of work were highlighted and painfully deleted. It had to be done. Paige was not having it.

In Maybe I Lied, Maddy Volt’s brother was a supporting character, but his outrageous, witty personality flew through the pages. He was shouting at me to have his own story told, and he later got it in The Platonic Boyfriend Experiment… because Jonathan Volt always got what he wanted.

Believe it or not, one of the most hair-pulling part is naming the characters. I sometimes “borrowed” last names from people I knew or encountered. (“Martini” and “Evans” in Infiltrate; “Hawkes” in Perpetuate; “Rose” in Escalate; and “Sun” in Infatuate) More often than not, I made them up. Yup, that’s right. I threw letters together to see what stuck. “Zine” in Reinventing Fate. “Delevan” in Rearranging Fate. (“Damian Delevan” was my personal favorite.) “Verlise” in Resurrecting Fate. In the case of “Volt,” I was driving behind a car with that model name and went with it. “Satie,” the name of the main male character of my current project, was named after the French Composer, Erik Satie. I just liked the sound of “Jordan Satie.” You’ll meet him soon…😊

In summary, there’s little rhyme or reason to my methodology. Stories and characters unfold before my eyes, and I go along with it. I have no choice. The characters might threaten me in my sleep with a colossal delete button.

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