October 30th, 2011

swirl

NaNoWriMo is nearly upon us

Originally published at ankewehner.de. You can comment here or there.

...and a lot of people are going to give writing a novel draft in November a shot.

Last year went pretty well for me, with a story I had sort-of plotted out; my ideas are rather more vague this year.

What I remember from last year was that a major stumbling stone were names. The story took place in a constructed world, and I didn't want to use too many real world names for characters... I think that never-touched-again manuscript is still full of people called [insert name here]. Which does bolster the word count a bit, but, well, it was a bit time lost for every character who showed up that made me think, "OK, so what do I call them?" before I gave up.

Therefore this year I'll make up a list of names that sound right for the location, so I can just pick one when a new supporting character shows up.

For names from the real world, I may turn random name generator at behindthename.com. A quick test run chosing only German names makes it look like the generator honours the category choice for last names, too. I wouldn't rely on the site alone for actual real world settings, since there's no telling when a given name was actually used, but it's good enough for my science-fantasy. It should help getting some names that are not from English or German in there.

Other things that might be good to determine in advance:

  • What's a polite way to adress someone?
  • What ranks are there in the police/security force?

I'm sure I'll think of more, once November starts.

I'm Anke at the NaNo website, in case anybody would like to add me as a writing buddy.

What are your last minute preparations?

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