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Name My Angst

I'm in a bit of a panic.

I'm 200 pages into the first draft of a YA that came to be because of a name.
A name that presented itself to me when I was playing around with this Band Name Generator.
I immediately loved the name.
The name offered so many possibilities for a main character.

Without going into details, the name includes a noun that stands for a specific kind of crime.
My entire storyline (and I use that word loosely since I'm firmly entrenched in blither-blather territory at this point in the draft) comes from that noun.

And now I'm wondering (mostly because of that blither-blather angst I'm currently experiencing) if I'm nuts to let a name
dictate a story.

Have any of you ever written a book based on a name?
Did it all work out in the end?

I cannot believe I have 200 pages written but am suddenly insecure about the whole project.



( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 21st, 2009 10:58 pm (UTC)
yes, I am re-starting a project that started with a name that I love... and her character is clear to me....

no more panic--

Dear Author,
Please get out of the way of the story.
Just write.
Your Character who knows best.

Edited at 2009-05-21 10:58 pm (UTC)
May. 22nd, 2009 02:05 am (UTC)
Oh, thank you. Really.

It's just the worst feeling, the doubt and insecurity and wondering if I should just chuck everything out the window rather than try to fit a story around a name. But now I'm feeling more calm. You're a pal.

May. 21st, 2009 11:30 pm (UTC)
Where do any projects come from? They come from a kernel of inspiration. Could be a situation, or a phrase, or a location, or a dream. Why should there be a problem with it springing from a name?

As the Bard said (good thing I'm running a month's worth of him in June)What's in a name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. And an idea from any other source would work as well.

No worries. No fear.
May. 22nd, 2009 02:07 am (UTC)
You're wise, Kelly. Thank you (and Bill, too).

I guess I'm just freaking out because I'm at that horrible muddle in the middle I always suffer, and I'm questioning whether I'm trying to force a story around a name rather than just let the story go. It's just my usual pattern of angst (packaged a little differently this time around).
May. 22nd, 2009 02:03 am (UTC)
I wrote Waiting To Score based on a name. The name got changed though :)

My mc was EZ and the story came from that.

Now he's Zack.
May. 22nd, 2009 02:08 am (UTC)
HA! I love it. A whole PUBLISHED book built around a name that ended up changing.

Thank you, Janet.
May. 22nd, 2009 03:25 am (UTC)
I'm not positive, but I believe Chris Cruthcer wrote the short story about Angus Bethune based on the name. That one even became a movie.
May. 22nd, 2009 03:36 pm (UTC)
Angus Bethune is a GREAT name. I just looked up the movie and I'm going to check it out. If Chris Crutcher can do it, I can, too. Right? Right!

Thank you, David.
May. 22nd, 2009 11:01 am (UTC)
Not quite the same, but I wrote A Recipe for Robbery based on a word: cucumber. And many, many times during the process I would think, "What the heck am I doing?!?!? This is the stupidest idea!! I can't believe I'm . . ." yada yada yada.

And remember, it's normal to start questioning it all in the middle!

Good luck. (dying to know what the name is, btw!)
May. 22nd, 2009 03:37 pm (UTC)
Cucumber? I love it!

I hate, hate, hate that voice telling us our ideas are stupid. They should be flogged with cucumbers.

Thank you for reminding me it's normal to question in the middle. I don't know why I always forget how this process unfolds.
(Deleted comment)
May. 22nd, 2009 03:39 pm (UTC)
Re: a couple of reactions, related...
Of course you are right, wise Melodye. Thank you for that reminder and also the smiles you gave me with "bossy, beak-where-it-doesn't-belong inner critic." HA!
May. 22nd, 2009 03:20 pm (UTC)
Sounds fascinating to me.
And honestly, don't we all get that middle muddle angst? Write on, Tracy! :)
May. 22nd, 2009 03:39 pm (UTC)
Thank you, Lorraine. This angst thing is so predictable yet grabs me by the throat each and every time. What's up with that?!
May. 22nd, 2009 05:12 pm (UTC)
I think that sounds great! I based my entire second novel--plot, pacing, setting, characters--everything on the title of a single map I found when I was working as an office manager for a mapping company. It was a rural area that was so rural, it had no name of its own so it was called in relation to the next biggest location near it. The map was called, West of Ideal" Ta da! A book!

Don't feel insecure. It sound like pure inspiration!

May. 22nd, 2009 05:34 pm (UTC)
I absolutely love that title WEST OF IDEAL.

Thank you, Sarah, for reminding me it's okay. I should get all my writer-friends' wisdom in a tiny notebook and carry it everywhere.
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )


a.k.a. Tracy Abell

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