Name My Angst

I’m in a bit of a panic.

I’m 200 pages into the first draft of a YA that came to be because of a name.
A name that presented itself to me when I was playing around with this Band Name Generator.
I immediately loved the name.
The name offered so many possibilities for a main character.

Without going into details, the name includes a noun that stands for a specific kind of crime.
My entire storyline (and I use that word loosely since I’m firmly entrenched in blither-blather territory at this point in the draft) comes from that noun.

And now I’m wondering (mostly because of that blither-blather angst I’m currently experiencing) if I’m nuts to let a name
dictate a story.

Have any of you ever written a book based on a name?
Did it all work out in the end?

I cannot believe I have 200 pages written but am suddenly insecure about the whole project.

              

30 thoughts on “Name My Angst

  1. yes, I am re-starting a project that started with a name that I love… and her character is clear to me….
    no more panic–
    Dear Author,
    Please get out of the way of the story.
    Just write.
    Sincerely,
    Your Character who knows best.

    Like

    • Oh, thank you. Really.
      It’s just the worst feeling, the doubt and insecurity and wondering if I should just chuck everything out the window rather than try to fit a story around a name. But now I’m feeling more calm. You’re a pal.

      Like

  2. yes, I am re-starting a project that started with a name that I love… and her character is clear to me….

    no more panic–

    Dear Author,
    Please get out of the way of the story.
    Just write.
    Sincerely,
    Your Character who knows best.

    Like

  3. Where do any projects come from? They come from a kernel of inspiration. Could be a situation, or a phrase, or a location, or a dream. Why should there be a problem with it springing from a name?
    As the Bard said (good thing I’m running a month’s worth of him in June)What’s in a name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. And an idea from any other source would work as well.
    No worries. No fear.

    Like

    • You’re wise, Kelly. Thank you (and Bill, too).
      I guess I’m just freaking out because I’m at that horrible muddle in the middle I always suffer, and I’m questioning whether I’m trying to force a story around a name rather than just let the story go. It’s just my usual pattern of angst (packaged a little differently this time around).

      Like

  4. Where do any projects come from? They come from a kernel of inspiration. Could be a situation, or a phrase, or a location, or a dream. Why should there be a problem with it springing from a name?

    As the Bard said (good thing I’m running a month’s worth of him in June)What’s in a name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. And an idea from any other source would work as well.

    No worries. No fear.

    Like

  5. Oh, thank you. Really.

    It’s just the worst feeling, the doubt and insecurity and wondering if I should just chuck everything out the window rather than try to fit a story around a name. But now I’m feeling more calm. You’re a pal.

    Like

  6. You’re wise, Kelly. Thank you (and Bill, too).

    I guess I’m just freaking out because I’m at that horrible muddle in the middle I always suffer, and I’m questioning whether I’m trying to force a story around a name rather than just let the story go. It’s just my usual pattern of angst (packaged a little differently this time around).

    Like

    • Angus Bethune is a GREAT name. I just looked up the movie and I’m going to check it out. If Chris Crutcher can do it, I can, too. Right? Right!
      Thank you, David.

      Like

  7. Not quite the same, but I wrote A Recipe for Robbery based on a word: cucumber. And many, many times during the process I would think, “What the heck am I doing?!?!? This is the stupidest idea!! I can’t believe I’m . . .” yada yada yada.
    And remember, it’s normal to start questioning it all in the middle!
    Good luck. (dying to know what the name is, btw!)

    Like

    • Cucumber? I love it!
      I hate, hate, hate that voice telling us our ideas are stupid. They should be flogged with cucumbers.
      Thank you for reminding me it’s normal to question in the middle. I don’t know why I always forget how this process unfolds.

      Like

  8. Not quite the same, but I wrote A Recipe for Robbery based on a word: cucumber. And many, many times during the process I would think, “What the heck am I doing?!?!? This is the stupidest idea!! I can’t believe I’m . . .” yada yada yada.

    And remember, it’s normal to start questioning it all in the middle!

    Good luck. (dying to know what the name is, btw!)

    Like

  9. a couple of reactions, related…
    While that name itself may be a catalyst for your story, it’s really about the underlying emotions and creative energy that name evoked in you, am I right?
    Begone, you bossy, beak-where-it-doesn’t-belong inner critic! Get your butt back in the chair, Miss Tracy! You’ve got a book to write!
    xoxo

    Like

    • Re: a couple of reactions, related…
      Of course you are right, wise Melodye. Thank you for that reminder and also the smiles you gave me with “bossy, beak-where-it-doesn’t-belong inner critic.” HA!

      Like

  10. a couple of reactions, related…

    While that name itself may be a catalyst for your story, it’s really about the underlying emotions and creative energy that name evoked in you, am I right?

    Begone, you bossy, beak-where-it-doesn’t-belong inner critic! Get your butt back in the chair, Miss Tracy! You’ve got a book to write!

    xoxo

    Like

  11. Angus Bethune is a GREAT name. I just looked up the movie and I’m going to check it out. If Chris Crutcher can do it, I can, too. Right? Right!

    Thank you, David.

    Like

  12. Cucumber? I love it!

    I hate, hate, hate that voice telling us our ideas are stupid. They should be flogged with cucumbers.

    Thank you for reminding me it’s normal to question in the middle. I don’t know why I always forget how this process unfolds.

    Like

  13. Re: a couple of reactions, related…

    Of course you are right, wise Melodye. Thank you for that reminder and also the smiles you gave me with “bossy, beak-where-it-doesn’t-belong inner critic.” HA!

    Like

  14. I think that sounds great! I based my entire second novel–plot, pacing, setting, characters–everything on the title of a single map I found when I was working as an office manager for a mapping company. It was a rural area that was so rural, it had no name of its own so it was called in relation to the next biggest location near it. The map was called, West of Ideal” Ta da! A book!
    Don’t feel insecure. It sound like pure inspiration!

    Like

    • I absolutely love that title WEST OF IDEAL.
      Thank you, Sarah, for reminding me it’s okay. I should get all my writer-friends’ wisdom in a tiny notebook and carry it everywhere.

      Like

  15. I think that sounds great! I based my entire second novel–plot, pacing, setting, characters–everything on the title of a single map I found when I was working as an office manager for a mapping company. It was a rural area that was so rural, it had no name of its own so it was called in relation to the next biggest location near it. The map was called, West of Ideal” Ta da! A book!

    Don’t feel insecure. It sound like pure inspiration!

    Like

  16. I absolutely love that title WEST OF IDEAL.

    Thank you, Sarah, for reminding me it’s okay. I should get all my writer-friends’ wisdom in a tiny notebook and carry it everywhere.

    Like

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