What’s in a (Historical Place) Name?

Previously I blogged about my efforts in coming up with fictional surnames for the characters in my historical fiction WIP.

These names had to be Anglo-Norman in origin, and involved me increasing my French vocabulary, researching Norman toponymy, and a ton of trial and error to create nice-looking names.

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What’s in a (Historical Character) Name?

I’m continuing to answer the burning questions about writing as part of my 10th writing birthday celebration.

Previously, I answered a question from my good friend, Lydia.  But there was a second question that she put before me:

How do you come up with interesting character names in your work?

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The Ultimate Balancing Act: Your Work, Personal & Writing Lives

Back in February (on the 12th, the 10th, who even really knows?), I had my 10th writing birthday.

A writing birthday is something I commemorate to mark the day I decided to take a professional attitude toward my writing, in pursuit of eventual publication.

To my knowledge, the writing birthday is something I invented.  I’m not 100% clear on the actual date, but most years observe it on February 12.

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More Adventures in Method Writing (or, About That Time I Fell Off My Bike Due to Black Ice)

thermometer

My right knee was covered in road rash.  My left thigh is still sporting a huge, multi-hued bruise.

(When a bruise actually shows up on a black person, you know it must be bad.)

Anyone who’s read my blog for while knows that I ride my bicycle a lot.

I’m a cycle-commuter – I ride 8km roundtrip to work every day, as well as on various errands and social outings in and around Vancouver, where I live.  With the proper outer layers, Vancouver weather is rideable 95% of the year.

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Is Writing What You Know Holding You Back?

Cracked earth lightbulb

How the hell did “write what you know become” the most opt-repeated piece of writing advice anyway?

Maybe it’s because it’s the first advice many of us ever received.  Certainly it seems like it should be beginner advice.

I can see it perfectly: a student of sixteen or seventeen hunched over his/her desk at school, pencil in hand poised above a sheet of three-hole-punched, lined loose leaf.

(Am I totally dating myself with this memory in longhand?  Do high school students even write by hand  in school anymore?  The pencil in this vision isn’t even mechanical).

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