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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

What's In a Name? (And TT)

I was talking about writing a time travel short story earlier, but complaining that my heroine hadn't shown up yet. She finally made an appearance yesterday and she has attitude! At least she has in the little bit of information she's given me. We talked about her name--she hates it, and growing up, she used to fight other kids on the playground when they refused to use her preferred nickname. Maybe it's only her name that she's got an attitude about--I don't know.

It's funny, though, how I have no traction until a character tells me their name. It's some kind of catalyst for me and gets me going on figuring out who they are and what their story is. I also learned what her job is--she's in public relations (PR)--and I learned how she gets caught up in the time travel aspect.

You see, I'm not doing any magic necklace time travel thing. There's going to be some science (and some fiction) behind it and I already have this facet worked out. I just need to research to get a few more details that I can twist. :-)

In the meantime, my hero is becoming iffy about his real name. What that means is that I pushed my feelings onto him and now that my certainty has mellowed, he's letting me know that I have it wrong. It becomes tougher when they think of themselves by their nicknames, and for some reason I don't know, he does think of himself by the handle he got tagged with in the army.

Unfortunately, while I have two characters and a time travel setup, I don't have a story. I thought I did, but I realized that part of the appeal of TT is the fish-out-of-water thing. My idea has this, but not because of the TT. Actually, beyond getting the h/h together, the TT has no bearing at all and that won't work. So it's back to mulling and hoping that either the hero or the heroine will give me some inkling of a story that will encompass the TT aspect more fully and give a reader what they're looking for.