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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » A lesson I learned this week

   
Author Topic: A lesson I learned this week
wetwilly
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If you're writing in 1st person present tense, you can't name your POV character's friend Simon, because then you have to follow everything that character says with "Simon says," which makes it pretty tough to take him seriously.
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Meredith
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[Big Grin]
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telflonmail
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[Roll Eyes]
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Pyre Dynasty
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I once knew a girl who was writing a series of stories about a soldier. When he was a Private she didn't think anything of his last name Sanders, then he progressed in rank and eventually became a Colonel. She was inconsolable.
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wetwilly
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Pyre, that one is probably worse than mine. [Smile]
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Robert Nowall
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There was Captain Major Major, from Heller's Catch-22, whose burning ambition was to be promoted one rank and be Major Major Major...
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MattLeo
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When I was in high school I worked in a hospital that had both a Dr. Paine and a Dr. Misery. Worse yet, this was in the days before cell phones and when even pagers were rare, so that one sometimes heard, "Paging doctors Paine and Misery," over the loudspeaker.
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wetwilly
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Makes you wonder what Dr. Misery's ancestors did to get them that surname.
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extrinsic
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quote:
Originally posted by wetwilly:
If you're writing in 1st person present tense, you can't name your POV character's friend Simon, because then you have to follow everything that character says with "Simon says," which makes it pretty tough to take him seriously.

Sounds to me like "Simon says" is ripe for being taken humorously, albeit with an underlying grain of seriousness and posing a greater truth.
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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Anyone remember Heinlein's character named Wyoming Knott?
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extrinsic
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Isn't she a provocateur in The Moon is a Harsh Mistress? Clever-cute but not too darling clever. Like Dick Katz in Jonathan Franzen's Freedom. Subtly sublime.
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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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And when you shorten her first name to Wy, you can say "Wy Knott?"
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MartinV
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The whole purpose of that name was that the AI understood the joke.

Love that book, by the way.

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Robert Nowall
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And then Heinlein dropped it and referred to the character as "Wyoh"...

*****

I am, as I have stated, fond of my last name, which is distinct and unusual---but do not ask me how fond I am of it around Christmastime...

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skadder
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I knew a James Nastic once.
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extrinsic
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When Heinlein introduces Ms. Knott I wondered what her parents were thinking naming her Wyoming. Heinlein pulled off an artful participation mystique spell. The imagined secondary world reality is artful enough to smooth over the name's potential challenge to willing suspension of disbelief. All three narrative meaning spaces managed artfully.
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MartinV
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Nastic is most likely a slavic name, meaning the 'c' in the end is not supposed to be pronounced 'k' but 'ch'.
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JoBird
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I knew a guy named Nad. He was on the football team back in high school. Whenever the football players would run out on the field the cheerleaders would chant their names.

Go Tommy! Go Tommy!
Go JoJo! Go JoJo!

Every time they got to Nad the crowd would join in.

Go Nad! Go Nad!

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shimiqua
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In High School, I knew a kid named Richard Head.
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MattLeo
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quote:
Originally posted by shimiqua:
In High School, I knew a kid named Richard Head.

I once worked for a physicist named Dick Bigger. Apparently he hadn't made himself popular with the techs at his old lab. We sometimes got shipments of surplus equipment from there and our shipping and receiving department soon learned where to deliver stuff addressed to "Dr. Big Dickwad".
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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Okay. I think we're getting carried away here.

Maybe this topic has served its purpose?

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wetwilly
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I think attributing a purpose to this topic is being very generous. [Smile]
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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Well, if the topic has a purpose, then I don't have to delete it, but I may have to lock it.
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