Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Bobs

National LeeOGraphic

When you're an editor of a small press, you've got to be strong.  You can't be namby pamby or wishy washy.  That's not going to help your writers.  Be courageous and direct in your interactions.  Remember that your primary obligation is to the creation of the best story possible.  

That's why yesterday I had to come down hard on character names with The Thirdlanders.  After the fourth Thirdlander brought me a storyboard featuring a character named Bob, I made an announcement.  "No one will have a character named Bob in their book. We create characters that we care about.  We're not here to make fun of our characters with ridiculous joke names."  (Apologies to all the great Bobs I know and love). 52 eyes grew wide with disbelief and 26 mouths gaped in horrified O's. Someone broke the silence with, "How about Billy?"  

"No.  No Billies.  I don't like that either.  Spend 2 minutes thinking of an interesting name.  How about that?"  Thus ensued a litany of ridiculous names that I put the kibosh on.  The Thirdlanders were amused and surprised, just the way I like them.  Some new names were invented yesterday:  Jeter, Curry, Squish.  This is what I'm talking about


Mary Moeller said...

"We create characters we care about." Kudos!

nancy reynolds said...

I love those names! Where were those names when I was naming my own kids?!

KC said...

Curry is really a great name, especially.

Anonymous said...

Now that's funny!

jdoc said...

This reminds me of the horrified looks I used to get when I told the 7th graders to delete any first sentences that went something like, "Hello, my name is . . ." Carry on, Dr. H!

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