Your Favorite Characters: If You Had to Give Them Nicknames….

"Your Favorite Characters: If You Gave Them Nicknames...."" (blog post) | |

Nicknames are fun — I was once told I could be given the nickname of “Running Ulcer” because of walking quickly (in high school) and worrying a lot.

Most likely, some characters are given nicknames by the author. If you’re a reader, what nicknames might you give to some of your favorite characters? And if you’re a writer, what nicknames might you give to your own characters? (This is an especially useful tool for writers to really get into the world of their characters.)

Really quirky or eccentric characters would likely get the most interesting nicknames. Ebeneezer Scrooge, for example, could be “Cheapskate,” “Coldheart” or “Bah-Humbug Breath.” King Arthur could be “Master of Excalibur.”

Ebeneezer Scrooge could be “Cheapskate,” “Coldheart” or “Bah-Humbug Breath.”

Not all people automatically have nicknames (nor should they), so the fact that we may be inclined to nickname certain characters may show the power of the characters themselves.

Nicknaming Characters Really Makes You Think

If you’re inclined to nickname a favorite character, that’s one thing. For authors, however, the exercise of nicknaming characters is not always easy. For example, in trying to name some of my own short story characters, the only obvious one was “Tomb-Singer” for Mark in “Revvel’s Tomb” (though other nicknames for him are certainly possible, some of them being rather macabre).

Some people who may bother to nickname characters might be given the nickname of “Bookworm” — but then again, that’s not really a bad thing. 🙂


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Why Do Adults Still Love Summer?

"Why Do Adults Still Love Summer?" (Blog Post by Brenna Pierson) |
Let’s face it: Summer is not the same once we’re adults. We don’t get nearly three months off from work for summer break. We may take a vacation sometime during summer, but if we’re lucky, it lasts two weeks—not even close to what we had in childhood.

So, why do adults still love summer? Maybe because summer reminds us of an easier time—a fun time—when we did have those three or so months when we could do just about whatever we wanted.

And for a lot of us, that was reading. “Summer reading” is a popular term; but wouldn’t “winter reading” make more sense? Wouldn’t it seem like reading is so often associated with staying indoors?

Still, we use the phrase of “summer reading.” And the very thing that bred summer reading—having the time to get buried in stories—is one of the reasons adults still love summer. We may not have those days anymore, but we remember that time when we were able to browse the library and take home whatever interested us—because we had the time to see it through when we decided to read those books from cover to cover.

No wonder we hated it when summer came to an end.

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A Story That Keeps Coming Back to Mind

From "A Character That Keeps Coming Back to Mind" (blog post by Brenna Pierson) |
Meet “Scruffy.”

Scruffy is a plastic dog sold as one of Barbie’s pets in the 1980s. He actually was an unnamed puppy that came with Barbie’s full-grown dog, Beauty (an Afghan hound).

But he didn’t remain unnamed for long. Having read the book Scruffy by Jack Stoneley (which can today be found on Amazon), I loved the book’s title character and opted to name one of the two plastic puppies in the set with Scruffy’s name.

Of course, some real pets have been named after fictional characters. After Peter Jackson’s first Lord of the Rings film came out, I remember hearing about at least one dog named Frodo.

And on YouTube, there’s Gatsby, a Corgi that shares a name with F. Scott Fitzgerald’s character (though I’m not sure if he’s technically named after Jay Gatsby).

The funny thing is that I very specifically remember reading Scruffy over and over again. Every once in a while, the book will pop into my head for no reason. I can’t recall now what the main plot or storyline was—but I loved the character so much that the book featuring him still lingers in my memory.

A great character is like that—he or she will leave an imprint so that the story just keeps coming back to mind.

A great character is like that—he or she will leave an imprint so that the story just keeps coming back to mind.

It has been said that character is plot; whether or not that’s true, a character can spring back into a reader’s head long after he or she has read the book. That’s just one reason why good characterization is so important—it can help a reader connect. And apparently, that may still be true long after the story is put down.

And yes, to this day, I still own my plastic “Scruffy.”

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