What is in a name?
So when TENDING DEACON’S GARDEN came to me, I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to call my hero. He’s a bit of a modern cowboy and I played around with a few names that might be a good fit for him. Names like Wes, Luke, Jake, Reese—ya know. I couldn’t decide, but I needed a name just to get the story going, certain I’d only be using it to sketch out my draft of the story. Until I could decide which one I wanted for him. So—I used Chase. Yeah, I know, it’s so romance-novel-ly, but I was having some fun.
Now– my hero won’t let me switch it out. He tells me ‘my name is Chase’ and he’s adamant, won’t budge or negotiate with me for something more low-key. Heck, I don’t know much about cowboys, but apparently they are as stubborn as the ones I’ve seen in movies and on TV.
What’s a writer to do when her hunky alpha male puts his boot down, y’all? I’d like to think I know what’s best for my story but does Chase know what’s best for him? Will I miss the opportunity to really get to know this guy and the essence of who he really is by finding and replacing everywhere ‘Chase’ appears in my draft with Wes, or with ‘Luke’?
Is there a chance I will forever change the heart, mind and soul of this man by giving him the name Jake?
I can’t be the first or last writer who has had a disagreement with one of their characters. I wonder if there are writers out there who went ahead and blocked out a character’s demand, published their book only to regret that they hadn’t listened to that demand?
Let’s face it, the guy might be wrong. Maybe his character will soar to new heights and have more depth with a moniker like Houston or Buck. He acts like I’m trying to call him Chester, or Palladin.
Perhaps it’s all because Chase has been Chase for quite a few months now. And while I’ve created the world he’s been living in, and the romantic tension that is driving him looney—I’ve also given him the chance to find true love and a happy ever after. Maybe I shouldn’t be so surprised that he’s fighting so hard to be the one my heroine gives all her sweet lovin’ to.
While the jury is still out on this, I’ll let him keep giving me that hard stare as I begin working on this novella, and just maybe he’ll convince me – he really is Chase and not a Wes, or Jake, or a Luke.