Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Word Count Wednesday

Word Count Wednesday is here already! Boy, it seems like they're coming faster and faster each week.

I didn’t make any sort of huge progress, but I’m plodding along. The characters and story are taking shape and I’m actually pretty proud of myself for sticking with it through an incredibly busy week. I got 2800 words and I’m about a fourth of a way through the first draft. Not bad for a week when I didn’t think I’d get anything done on my draft.

I have a question for you, though. I named my heroine Grace and my hero Connor and a friend of mine said that those names are too common. If I’m going to change them, I’d like to change them now, so I’m wondering what you think. Are those names too common? (They are adults and the story is romantic suspense.)

And how did you do on your word count this week?

16 comments:

Kimberly said...

I think those are fabulous names. But then, I tend to be annoyed by books that have off-the-wall unusual names. It feels like author intrusion to me, the writer trying to set their characters apart. You set them apart by who they are, not by what you call them.

Jordan McCollum said...

+1 to Kim. If they fit your characters (but not in a "too matchy" kind of way) and their ages, don't worry about it.

Check out Baby Name Voyager or the SSA names list.

I will say, though, that I feel like Grace and Connor are timeless names that have really seen a big boost in popularity in the last 5-10 years, so it might make your characters feel too young.

Melanie Goldmund said...

I took the liberty of checking how popular those names were in 1985, and according to Social Security Online, they're not in the top 100. Grace was about 248, and I couldn't find Connor at all. Fast forward to 2005 or 2010, and Grace is in the top 20, whereas Connor is about number 48. So, yeah, nowadays those names are very common, but more for children, not so much for adults.

While going through the 1985 list, I was surprised to see the name "Marquis" at 364, and I thought, "Those parents are just begging for their poor kids to get a nickname like Marquis de Sade." Then I realized it was probably something Hispanic.

I'd say the names are good for your story, though. You just have to have the right names for romance, don't you? It's really hard to concentrate on the lovey-dovey stuff if the main characters are named Bertha and Hubert.

Stacy Henrie said...

I think those names work great. I've been much more consistent with writing the last week and I'm excited to see my word count for my WiP go up. :)

Anna said...

I tend to pick names on what feels right. I do check names around the time that my character may have been born (had they been real).

And although I agree that a romance between Bertha and Hubert might ruin the flow because of names, if they were real and had a real romance, they couldn't change their names. If it feels right, the names aren't too closely spelled together, and match the era, I think names aren't that big of deal.

Julie Coulter Bellon said...

Hmmm...you guys have given me a ton to think about. Thanks!

The other name I'd thought of for the hero was Nicholas. Do you have any reaction to Nicholas vs. Connor? Just curious.

Melanie Jacobson said...

I'll put money down that your friend is a Utahn. Them and their love of unusual names. Like your other commenters, I'm easily distracted by odd names. It always feels like the author is trying too hard. And between Connor and Nicholas, I think Nicholas probably works better for the age of your character. Connor feels teen-ish a little bit because I think that's when it started catching on as a name.

Julie Coulter Bellon said...

Melanie, she is a Utahn! haha you are psychic!

And thanks for the opinion on Nicholas. That's what I needed to know. :)

Brittany said...

I was thinking the same thing Melanie said, but if you use Nicholas I'd shorten it to Nick. That sounds more grown up to me. I don't know why

Jon Spell said...

A Grace by any other name would be as sweet?

We're really into baby names right now for Absolutely No Good Reason Whatsoever... and we think there are a lot of idiots out there burdening their children with ridiculous names.

I made no progress on my W(not)IP but I did write a 750 word humor piece for an online game. So, that counts for something. On a somewhat related topic, did you know that Jonathan Swift wrote a paper called "The Benefit of Farting" ? 18th century sophomoric humor!

Julie Coulter Bellon said...

Thanks, Brittany. I might just do that. That's a good idea. :)

Jon, I did not know that about Jonathan Swift, but I trust that you would know, research, and enlighten me about all those sorts of things! LOL

Debra Erfert said...

My main characters names are Grace and Micah. I don't know a single person by those names, so how common can they be? Don't change Grace's name. I think its beautiful, which is the reason I'm using it. :)

I'm at 32,000 words, but I"m also doing some major changes to my story, as you may know.

Sheila said...

Here is my opinion as a 22 year veteran of teaching...in all of those years I have taught only one Grace (who went by Gracie) and one Connor; both of those within the past two years. Personal preference: I like the name Connor more than Nicholas/Nick. The main reason is that I have mainly taught Nick's that were a pain in the the patootie. So for me, Nick is a name for a tough and troublesome boy/man. It was hard for me to choose my own children's names because of this same problem. I have known grown men named Connor and have never seen them as a child/teen. I guess it all comes down to perspective. ...I will love and read your book regardless of the names you choose for your characters.

Julie Coulter Bellon said...

Debra, I love the name Grace, too! If only I could have had one more daughter . . .

Sheila, thank you for saying you'd read my book regardless. I love you for that. :)

Mindi said...

I love the name Grace! And, personally, I prefer Nicholas to Connor, but either name would work. Like others, I don't like really unique/ hard to guess how it's pronounced names. It's very distracting to the story. Then names should be like "he said" or "she said".

Stephanie Humphreys said...

I love the names. I get tired of names I have to try to guess at how to pronounce. I like Connor better.