The “It Scares Me” Writing Challenge & More Naming Problems

Hello there, long blog post title! How ya doin?

Fellow authors Nancy Kelley and Kimberly Truesdale and I are challenging each other to write in genres that scare us this April. We all have genres we feel the most comfortable in. For me it’s anything with fantasy in it. Ask me to write straight historical or contemporary and I get really stressed out. You can see my post about the writing challenge on Indie Jane. We’d love for you to join us if you’d like!

I’ve been challenged to write historical. And not “there’s a fairy godmother or hotties in cravats that are magically turned into frogs” kind of historical. I’ve been freaking out for WEEKS about this and I finally decided to take my short story In His Service (my Regency era version of The Frog Prince) and take out the core story (smart, bored debutant tangles with hot friend of her elder brother who happens to be a spy) and rework it as a non-fantasy love story.

Read this book? Right now? But there's interesting stuff happening over there...
Read this book? Right now? But there’s interesting stuff happening over there…


Here’s the problem: I need to rename the characters. Because they ARE going to be different characters. The power of names is amazing. When I was writing Attempting Elizabeth the main characters started off as Sophie and Ian… They totally refused to be written. And then they were renamed Kelsey and Mark and it was like throwing a match into a can of gasoline. All I had to do was sit back and let them burn together on the page. They are not at all the same people they were as Sophie and Ian – they’re a hundred times better!

In His Service is the story of Lucinda Beacham and Marcus Sutton. I was inordinately pleased with these names because as I’ve stated before I suck hardcore at naming. To come up with era appropriate names that fit the characters without driving myself to drink was a first for me.

But this story isn’t the story of Lucinda and Marcus. It’s _____’s and ______’s story. So those of you who LOVE naming characters, help me out!

Heroine: young (late teens), debutante, dark-hair, light eyes. Smart as a whip, easily bored, gets herself into scrapes.

Hero: mid-to-late twenties, dark blond hair, blue eyes, in line for a title but works as a spy.

And go!


6 thoughts on “The “It Scares Me” Writing Challenge & More Naming Problems

  1. You know I still want you to write about Bucinda Meacham… I suck at names, too! Was actually going to write about names for my IJ post next month 🙂

    Have you tried Scrivener’s name generator? I’ve found that very helpful for at least getting started.

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