Wednesday, August 18, 2010

License Plates

I got your attention, didn't I? Come on, admit it!

What the heck do license plates have to do with writing? Well, in my delusional little world, quite a bit . . . at least since yesterday afternoon on the drive home from work.

TN License Plates have the following format: ### (mini image of state) 3 Letters.

So, in the boredom of sitting in traffic, I've been known to attempt to come up with words based on the three letters on the license plate. Example: ### HXG. Well, easily enough, I can come up with the word HeXinG. Woo-hoo. Yes, I'm easily amused. So, for quite some time, while stuck in traffic, I look at license plates and attempt to come up with words. Most times I succeed, some times I fail.

Well, yesterday, brilliance struck and I thought, what if the three letters were initials? Voila! Inspiration strikes. She (Inspiration that is) is quite clever at times.

I began to look at the letters with renewed interest and - BAM - two new names for some future project, and a - hopefully - endless supply of names in the future. Woo-Hoo!

Now, in using the letters HXG, I could come up with Henry Xavier Goldblumstein. Okay, maybe not the best name, but the ones I came up with yesterday were, well, genius.

Speaking of yesterday . . . as you know, I've finished the rough draft of my cozy which is probably the first book in a series. Well, I hadn't - until yesterday - had a clue what Book II, III, or whatever might be about. I'm still too focused on Book I . . . which is as it should be. Still, I might need a bit knowledge about Book II, etc., once I query and an agent asks "Do you have plans for future books?" Ha!

So, yesterday, I - thanks to those handy-dandy TN license plates - came up with three names for Book II, the crime, the victim, the motive, and the suspects. Woo-hoo.

Now, back to you, dear readers . . . what clever tricks do you have for coming up with character names?


Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

So much fun! I'll never be bored in traffic again, hehe. I love the Henry name! And if you wrote books 2 and 3 as fast as you wrote the first one, I will put you at the top of my "really cool" list. I'm still awed. :)

Robyn Campbell said...

I noticed while reading your post you called inspiration, she. So, of course, I knew immediately that she you were thinking about, she grinned. hehe

Great post and great trick. Now I will probably figure out something with the NC tags. And I owe it all to you.

Usually when I'm stuck in traffic some kid is talking in my ear, so I'm not really bored, just frazzled.

Oh and did you notice what the folks in the know are sayin' about the Dolphins? Well. I'll just mention it anyway. They're talking PLAYOFFS! Super Bowl! Unlimited success. Countless wins. NEVER-ENDING SUPER BOWLS. woot!

This makes me so HAPPY. ^_^

Scott said...

Michelle – I wish I had thought of the whole names from initials thing a bit sooner. I often struggle with coming up with character names. The one name I came up with really did provide me with the first stepping stone for Book II. I love it when that happens. Of course, I’m trying not to think to much about Book II, etc., because I have other things to do right now: finish ‘Cinders’ & do a review, work on query for different project, work on synopsis for different project, let current project stew a week or more before immersing myself into the editing process, and, oh, that’s right, have some sort of life!

Oh, and I’m glad you like the Henry name. I might use it one day. : )

Robyn, Robyn, Robyn, dear, delusional Robyn – you are not, NOT, my Inspiration. My Inspiration doesn’t happen to like the Dolphins. I’m just saying . . . Ha!! It’s kind of fun coming up with names. I write the good ones down, and don’t worry about the bad ones. Then again, maybe I need to write them all down. You never know when I’ll need a name.

Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

Scott, yay for Cinders! And good luck on that synopsis. I hate those things. :)

Davin Malasarn said...

I look at license plates all the time. I tend to have my friends' plates memorized and for some reason that's the only way I can recognize them. Sort of time consuming. Congrats on your inspiration!

I don't have any good way of coming up with names. I'm usually pretty bad at it, actually.