There is one thing above all others that I find difficult to do when writing: name things.
When it comes to names for people, for places (fictitious places, obviously), my mind really does go blank.
I will start to develop a character in my head; I’ll think about who they are, what they do, how they sound when they talk, how they will react to a whatever situation I am planning to put them in. When I have that in my head, when I sit down to start writing, my brain goes blank and I struggle to come up with a name for the character. I have found myself stalled for hours, even for days sometimes, because I can’t come up with a name.
The same is true for fictitious places. I have mapped things out before, done a little world building. I know there are mountains here and a lake that cuts through this area, dotted by farmland and wild forests. But when I have to actually name these places, name this town and that village – again, my brain just blanks out.
To combat this, I now keep lists of names; peoples names, first and last (on separate tabs of a spreadsheet) along with names of interesting places. I skim these lists when it’s time to name someone or something, I mix and match, rearrange – whatever it takes to keep moving forward.
Only three times in my writing over the past… ugh – 20 years? *wince* – 20 years of doing this, of building on my craft, has the name simply come to me.
What about you? I know a lot of authors, published and not published, read this blog or follow me on twitter. What do you find is the most difficult part of writing?