Rewrites, April Camp, and Familiar Names

I’m happy to say that since my last update here, I’ve succeeded in restarting the WIP. I managed to rewrite the outline with a few key changes and have begun a total rewrite. Initially, I dreaded rewriting the story, as I am loathe to write the same thing twice. But notably, a rewrite is not reiterating the same story, but rather reinventing what has already been written.

The hardest part is making sure not to get confused with what’s already been said in the first draft. I find that to be the biggest struggle and I’m constantly reviewing the relevant parts of the first draft just so I know what I need to ‘re-show’ in the second draft.

Tedious. But 12k words in and I’m much happier with the second version of the story.

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This is not working out like King says it should.

Also, I’m wondering why conversations between my characters are thousands of words long. Initially, this WIP was supposed to be a novella (<40k words), but at 12k and only 3 scenes in and at least 15 more to go, I don’t foresee that happening. It seems that the older I get, the longer my stories are getting. Not sure if that has to do with the growing complexity of my stories, or if I’m turning into a rambling logophile.

That being said, I will be participating in April Camp nano! I’m excited for it and gave myself a small goal of 20k words. Initially, I wanted to give myself some breathing room with a low goal like that, but now it seems I’m once again crunched for time as the art commissions have kicked back into gear. So 20k sounds perfectly reasonable now. I don’t mind, of course, but the day only has so many hours in it. Gad how I hate the necessity of sleep.

dr-sleep-1

Ain’t that the truth.

I finally began Sanderson’s Way of Kings, and while it doesn’t begin like his other books, he still manages to suck you right into his ridiculously awesome universe. One of my favorite fantasy authors, to be sure. Only one letdown: one of his MC’s nickname is the same name of the MC in my fantasy WIP (Kal). I will not change my MC’s name just because Sanderson (kind of) used it, though. But it is plenty frustrating and crushing. This wouldn’t be the first time this has happened to me, as Voldemort’s last name shares the same last name as another MC from my urban fantasy stories. Completely unintentional because I hadn’t read or watched Harry Potter yet when I created Celso Riddle back in 2006, and completely upsetting when I discovered that such a famous character shared the same surname.

Have you ever come across a published story where the MC (or well-known character) shared the same name as one of your characters? How have you dealt with it?

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14 responses to “Rewrites, April Camp, and Familiar Names

  1. Good luck with Camp Nano! And that’s great that you’ve started rewriting the WIP. I’ve never rewritten a story before (revising isn’t really the same thing, right?), but if I were in your position, I’d almost look at the rewrite as Draft #1.5. It’s sort of like beginning again, but not quite. So I wouldn’t worry about going long on this rewrite (I’m guessing you’re planning to more than this one draft of the WIP?). Do what you need to do this time around, then focus on cutting / editing in the next draft.

    About the MC’s name: MEEP. :S But unless your WIP is epic fantasy in the vein of Sanderson / Way of the Kings, I don’t see the need to change your character’s name. I don’t remember running into the same problem with my stories, though I did find on Amazon a YA dystopian series called the Books of Eva. Haven’t read it, but I remember thinking, “Darn, there’s already an Eva in YA speculative fiction.” But I never changed my Eva’s name because of it.

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    • Thank you! I think I should be okay for Camp, the words are (so far) flowing smoothly. I debated validating Camp via their new options of pages/hours/lines, but it just didn’t feel right.

      And technically, yes I believe you’re correct! Draft #1.5 sounds much more accurate considering this version drastically changes from the 1/3 mark. I DREAD cutting and condensing, because most of the time, it feels like being forced to cram a big story into a 2 hour movie, and it just starts to lack the depth. But then again, no one’s forcing me to keep it at less than 40k words. Why do we do this to ourselves?

      That’s what sucks… my story IS epic fantasy. Granted Sanderson’s character’s name is Kaladin (mine is Kalifor — a name that’s probably taken elsewhere, just hit me with a hammer now), he’s referred to as Kal in Sanderson’s flashbacks. It’s flustering. Really flustering. At this point, I’m not going to let it affect my story, but now it’s one of those “you’re so unoriginal” demons hovering over my shoulder. *goes in a corner and cries*

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      • Hope Camp NaNo is going well! As for your character’s name: I don’t think you can really worry about it too much. Maybe some readers will see the similarity to Sanderson’s Kal, but others might not. So just keep writing, and let your Kal(ifor) be himself. (I’m assuming Kalifor is a different character compared to Kaladin…?)

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        • Camp is going! I ought to make the mid-month update soon. And yes, my Kal is quite different from Sanderson’s Kal, though I do wish my Kal would be a little more heroic like Sanderson’s Kal, lol! This MC has given me the most problems out of all of my MCs, and I’ve almost gotten him to a point of good standing with me, but… there’s just something “off” about his personality/character arc that I can’t put my finger on. He’s driving me crazy!

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  2. I LOVE Sanderson, though I haven’t yet had the chance to Read The Way of Kings. (Sometime this year!) Fortunately, I haven’t come across other uses of my MCs names, yet. Good luck with Camp!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s a big one, that’s why I’d put it off for so long. I probably should have waited until after Camp to start reading it though! Thank you for the encouragement! Are you doing Camp this month?

      Liked by 1 person

      • I am not. :/ I almost won NaNo last year (first time participating!), but now I’ve got more demands on my time. Hoping for next year, and for NaNo in November! How’s Camp going for you? 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Aw, but you made it that much farther into your story from last November. No writing is wasted.
          Camp is starting off slowly, but hopefully I’ll get a good writing block tonight and make some better progress! I’m glad I gave myself a lower goal. I’m not ready to think about 50k in November yet! I always say this, but I may just give it a pass this year…

          Liked by 1 person

        • You’re so right! Every word is progress. 🙂 I hope Camp is going better now and you’re feeling good about it! Sometimes a pass on NaNo is necessary and better for one’s stress levels and writing. If you decide not to participate, that’s not all bad! Best of luck with the second half of Camp! 🙂

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  3. Best of luck with Camp NaNo! I also decided to start with a small goal, because I’m graduating in a little over a month and I don’t want to stress myself out even more.

    As for the name thing: Names are incredibly difficult to make original. Harry Potter is not the only fictional Harry out there — it would be really unrealistic if he were. Even in fantasy settings, it makes sense for names to be repeated across authors. Readers associate certain sounds and/or sound combinations with fantasy, and seeing a name that’s been sued before isn’t inherently bad because it simply reflects a name that fits the setting. If there are more similarities between the characters — they look alike, they have similar roles, they have similar skills, etc. — then I would be concerned. But they’re both called Kal? So what.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you’re doing Camp! It’s so much easier on the stress levels than November, which is one of the main reasons why I love it. Congrats on your upcoming graduation! And good luck with the studies.

      Thanks so much for your input about names. I feel a lot better about keeping my MC’s name! Like I mentioned to Sara above, the nicknames are the same but the full name differs. And fortunately, my MC’s character is nothing like Sanderson’s Kal. Copyright in the creative fields is tricky business, and “how close is too close” is always a big issue. But I am sure that post-Harry Potter, many authors dismissed using that name merely because it would subconsciously bring HP to mind!

      Liked by 1 person

      • When I think of Harry, I think of Harry Dresden rather than Harry Potter, so that’s proof it’s really individual xD Kal, for example, makes me think of CM Spivey, who’s an author rather than a character (and he’s really lovely).

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I wrote an awesome scene in draft 1 that I completely forgot to include in draft 2! Haha!

    We were watching an episode of Mentalist (NO SPOILERS FIRST TIME WATCHERS!), and a character was called Lily (ooh someone with my name, misspelled, but my name), talking about a dude called Jasper (one of my MC’s.. interesting), and something else (which for the life of me I can’t remember) that was eeerily like my book. I spent a good ten minutes giving the screen a dirty look. Haha!

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    • Oh no! I’m officially convinced that rewrites are the worst ever, especially if it’s very close to draft #1’s outline. Fortunately, I’m just starting the scene that changes the whole story from draft #1, and it’s a relief.

      It’s so odd when a character has your name. That is a kooky connection though, must have been very amusing! I hate when another story “steals” a scene from your brainstorming. Such a downer. But it’s your story told your way, so be assured it has nothing to do with your creativity. If you think about it, there are plenty of similar scenes everywhere, but rarely is it ever 99% the same!

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