There’s a few tips and tricks that writers have when they want to complete a book in a month. One of them is sticking to just the main plot and worry about the subplot(s) during revision, but I did something by accident that could be considered a quick tip too.
Naming characters has always been hard for me. It’s a lot like naming your child. You want it memorable and respected, not made fun of. I’d spend hours researching for the perfect name that had a perfect meaning for the story. It was torture because by the time I finished researching, I had forgotten what the plot was about! But my most recent work was a little different. I spent time thinking more about what the characters looked like and less time on their names. In other words, I spent time building character.
I think in all the years I’ve spent writing, I spent the least amount of time on names with Forever Friends. The time was so minimal that I actually didn’t think about giving any of them last names until the second revision! And some of them had about 2-3 name changes before the first revision. During research for a vampire character, I had found that the name of a “famous” vampire hunter happened to be the name I chose for an actual vampire. Ouch! That really wasn’t what I had in mind. So I went back to the drawing board and came up with name fit for a king. And it was a good thing too because many vampires respect my Alec and consider him a king of his clan.
I can’t tell you how liberating it was to wait to name a character. I really felt I got to know all of them first. I didn’t feel speed- dating- rushed, and that made our first encounter more memorable. The worst feeling in the world is to rush your feelings of your romantic hero (or heroine for that matter). I honestly feel cheap and used when I do that and then lose interest in the story all together.