Character names can add or detract from a story.
When you're writing and you don't know what a character should be named, don't let that stop you -- just insert NTK (name to come). Why NTK? It's a combination of characters that is rarely used so it make it easy to use the search and replace function to add in the name you come up with later.
I learned this too late, in the case of the sticky Bob. I used the name Bob for a character who I introduced in my second novel, Unexpected Impact, then decided to change his name to Chuck. I never realized how many words have "bob" in them until I tried to do a search and replace. I resorted to the old fashioned way, Bob by Bob.
After publishing, I got a note from a reader that pointed out several Bobs remained. It was nice of them, and I always appreciate hearing from readers! But it still was a bit embarrassing since I thought between myself and my beta readers, we had found all of them.
If you'd like to see who Chuck is (and check if you spy any remaining Bobs) click here for links to where you can buy the ebook. Or join my mailing list and I'll let you know when I have special promotions running. :)
Note: those are not what my nails look like. But the reading glasses are similar!
Thanks for reading and have a great day!
Whether you are quarantined or staying home to avoid catching the Coronavirus, picking up a good book can help you escape reality for a time and alleviate the social isolation you might feel.
Or you could consider it a good opportunity to expand your horizons.
Reading can expand your perspective and give you insights into other worlds. There is nothing like seeing the world through another's eyes!
Where did this list come from?
The five books on this list came from suggestions from readers and friends. It's not meant to be comprehensive, it's more of a starter list, so if you have a book to suggest, I'd like to hear about it. Just leave the title and author in the comments.
1) The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book) by Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills . I was introduced to this book quite a few years ago in a book club; it has all types of helpful philosophy while remaining interesting to read. The four agreements include: Be impeccable with your word. Don't take anything personally. Don't make assumptions. Always do your best. It's the how and why one should do these things that make The Four Agreements worth reading and remembering.
2) The Art of Happiness by the Dali Lama.
The Art of Happiness is credited with starting the "happiness books" genre, and it remains the cornerstone of the field of positive psychology. Through conversations, stories, and meditations, the Dalai Lama shows how to defeat day-to-day anxiety, insecurity, anger, and discouragement. He explores many facets of everyday life, including relationships, loss, and the pursuit of wealth, to illustrate how to ride through life's obstacles on a deep and abiding source of inner peace. Based on 2,500 years of Buddhist meditations mixed with a healthy dose of common sense, This book has touched countless lives and uplifted spirits around the world -- you could join them!
3) Plain, Honest Men - by Richard Beeman
We often hear people talking about the Constitution of the United States. This book illuminates the historical background, conflicts and personalities of the men who wrote it and the compromises that were needed to make the United States possible.
4) Becoming - by Michelle Obama.
This is a well written and entertaining book about growing up, striving and being a working mother and political spouse. I wish I had read it earlier in my life, as the way Michelle looks at the world is refreshing. Especially recommend it to smart young women -- of any color or political leaning.
5) A Gentleman from Moscow - by Amor Towles
This is the only fiction book on the list, but belongs here as the writing is so eloquent and the story uplifting. Amid the likeable personalities and historical details,
the main character, Count Alexander Rostov, is sentenced to live in the Metro hotel for his crime of being a aristocrat. How he is able to master his circumstances makes delightful reading.
I just finished reading My Dear Hamilton by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie. It's a well written, fictionalized account of the life of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton, Alexander Hamilton's strong, capable and intelligent wife. The book is a veritable who's who of the revolution and early years of the nation. It was delightful to read about the lives that touched hers -- like the Marquis de Lafayette, George and Martha Washington, James and Dolley Madison, Aaron Burr and more.
Reading the book makes that time period come alive, revealing insights into the challenges faced and the character of this extraordinary woman and her family.
I highly recommend reading it!
Have you read it? If so, what did you think about it? Feel free to leave comments.
I just enjoyed reading The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown. The characters are well drawn, odd yet believable. Bits of humor added to the winsome way the story is told. Are you a Shakespeare lover? Do you have sisters? Then you'd probably like it.
Insights on writing, characters, humor and other tidbits from the author of the "Scoops and Schemes" series of novels.
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