I am on day 3 of my first three weeks of planning my next novel. The first two assignments in the book 90 Days To Your Novel by Sarah Domet went pretty good. When I opened to assignment 3 this morning and realized today is about my characters, well, this is definitely going to be a slow going assignment. I don’t have any of my characters named. I have ideas on who they are, I know who is who and how they are related to each other, but no names. For some reason, this is the book that wants to be written right now. The last two weeks of my last novel, I kept thinking about this book. So, last week I decided to start finding character names. Sounds pretty easy, right? Run downstairs, grab the baby name books, and start looking for the ones that jump out at me. Except that I walked down into this:
Nobody goes down into the basement, well, obviously people go down there to throw things all over the floor, but no one needs to go down there. Yes, I feel a little ashamed of the mess, boxes of clothes that don’t fit the youngest, bins of clothes that will fit the youngest some day, bags of things to be filed, a workout system that never got put together right, piles of books, piles of preschool workbooks, and the things that people just drop at our house and leave (the sleeping bag in the white bag, the crutches, and we are storing someone’s personal items in our crawl space for the last year). I have the best of intentions with this basement (notice the file boxes in the back of the photo) and it has been cleaned several times, but out of sight, out of mind.
Last week I go down to look for the baby name books and couldn’t find them. Surprised? I kind of was. 98% of my books are actually on the bookshelves in the back corner, but I couldn’t find the ones I needed. I vaguely remember throwing one out because it was falling apart and I am not the girl who holds books together with a rubber band. I was going to finally purchase a new one. The book was 22 years old and well read (I even used it to search up potential names for my own children), the thing needed to be retired. The problem is that I never bought a new one (though I know there are at least two other name books somewhere in that mess). So I requested one from the library and picked it up yesterday along with several books I had requested for research. Not a big fan of this name book. I like my character names to have meaning, heck, I like my children’s names to have meaning (just don’t ask me what their names mean), and this book does not list the meaning. The book isn’t completely worthless to me, it does say when the name came into popularity, so at least I know if it was likely my character would have been named that. My biggest issue is the layout of the book. I like my baby name books nice and orderly, this book feels like total chaos. It gives me the same feeling I had the first time I went into a Christian bookstore to buy my first Bible: overwhelmed.
But I am determined to conquer this assignment, so I will trudge through this baby name book and make sure the next time I am out and about to purchase a new name book. And I should probably conquer that basement, or at least chip away at it.