Naming my Characters


Hello there, anonymous people of the intertubes! How do you fare today?

Today is get-story-done day. I started a short story the weekend before last and it remains unfinished. It ballooned from a short story that was supposed to take a few pages (3 or 4) but is now 6400+ words long and I haven’t yet dealt with the meaty substance of the story.

With short stories, I do not work with an outline and just let stuff pour out of my head through my fingers onto the computer, but this particular story has me wondering about my method. I did not even name my main character! Nine pages in and I have yet to give her a name, which is one of the things I struggle with. I like to use African names that sound like they should be accompanied by deep resonating sounds from cow hide drums, like the rhythms I hear whenever the bakiga dance or the baganda play their drums, stomping on the floor and making my chest vibrate.

My editor says no. I say I can’t come up with any other name. My editor wears this blank look and points towards the door. I walk out, stubbornly determined to find a name with Xs and PW combinations because she dared to use her PEN to point to the door.

I should be writing.

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