Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I'm Just Visiting

Thank you for all the lovely comments yesterday! I had a lot of fun making that vlog, and have plenty more planned for the future!

So this morning I was trying to draw a rough outline of what the town looks like in Jane's Air, when I realized how many gaps there are in my writing.

For example, I don't even have a name for the town yet! If you haven't already noticed, I suck at titling things. I'm thinking the name should start with "Strickland" (name of family that founded town) but I have no clue what to put after that. Flats? Territory?

I'm lost. Please help.

Also, I haven't really put much thought into the daily life of the town. The main focus has been on Jane, and the town, which I see clearly in my head, has been lost in the shuffle. When I begin edits, making the town distinct will be my first job.

Does anybody else have this problem?

11 comments:

inthewritemind said...

Yes. That's the difficulty in writing historicals, at least for me. My little Japanese mountain village doesn't have much character in my first draft, but mostly it's because I don't know *how* to give it that character since I don't exactly know what life was like in an obscure little village.

And that's when the research comes in...it's a long and sometimes frustrating process, but it's certainly worth it in the end. I've pretty much exhausted any printed material and am now looking to contact professors and experts in Japanese history to see if they can help.

Finding info on frontier towns shouldn't be as difficult as it is for me :P And I still don't have a name for my village yet either--I don't know Japanese so I can't come up with a name; therefore I'm just using the actual name of the town I'm basing my fictional one off of...

Word verification: splob. What my brain feels like after hours of research :P

Jonathon Arntson said...

As a former aspiring Urban Planner, naming cities and towns is one of my favorite things to do.

You have several options here, since naming towns in the Western frontier was somewhat of a generic business:
Silver Creek
Stickland Creek
Stickland Junction
Or, you could try and be creative or ironic and name the dusty town:
Victory Springs
Elizabeth Pond
Fruitland
Then, there are the landscape inspired names:
Red Rock
White Mesa
Fry Canyon
Sandy Bluff
Bone Valley
I have also seen several off the wall names:
Page
Mexican Water
Enterprise
Kyle

I think you should also take the town's neighbors into consideration, even if they are hours away and think of the relationship between the two towns' names.

You could always leave a lot of comments and use the word verifications for inspiration (mine is awarti) or
take a cue John Green and J.K. Rowling and anagram Strickland.

Was this any help?

I personally love Green Meadows, New Mexico

Anissa said...

I'm terrible with naming things as well. And like you, I tend to leave out the details until revisions. Whatever works.

What about Strickland Falls? I have no idea where your town is, but could there be falls?

Elle Strauss said...

I'm finding big gaping holes in my wip right now. That's what the revision process is for, to find and fill in the gaps.

Melissa said...

I'm terrible at names, too! In fact, I don't even have a name for the city in my WIP.

I'm trying not to get myself worked up over all of the things I need to fix. I'll worry about it when I'm ready for revisions.

Good luck with finding a name for your town:)

Sarah said...

Good luck finding the perfect town name! And, um, did you FINISH? Did you FINISH yet??

Sorry, I'm just excited! :D

Mariah Irvin said...

inthewritemind: I've been doing a lot of research, but haven't been feeling very creative lately. You're probably right though- your topic is harder to research!

Jonathon: You, good sir, are the epitome of dasaloff. I've taken a liking to Silver Creek.

Anissa: Thanks for stopping by! Sadly, there are no falls where my characters live. They live in the midwest- ya know, dust 'n stuff.

Melissa: I'm not alone!

Sarah: I'm excited that you're excited! I'm almost done, I swear.

Jonathon Arntson said...

Thanks for liking some of those. i live in the Midwest and there's no dust here! There are no waterfalls here either, but by Midwest, do you mean Nebraska, Iowa, those sorts of places?

Mariah Irvin said...

I'm thinking the four corners region. It probably isn't called the Midwest; I hardly have any idea what I'm talking about!

Jonathon Arntson said...

Ha, welcome to my life. The four corners area is decidedly the Southwest, and they want you all to know that.

Btw, thanks for calling me dasaloff, I had just read the definition and it made my day.

My word ver is chabanar, could that be a synonym of dasaloff?

Lisa and Laura said...

I know you don't want us to help name something because we SUCK at names and titles. SUCK.

And I know exactly what you mean about aspiring artists. Even watching Top Chef gets me all misty eyed. It's all about people following their dreams, you know?