How to Pick a Character’s Name

Andrea Lundgren

This is part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group blog-hop, designed to help encourage authors and foster discussions about writing topics across the internet and the world. This month’s question is “What’s harder for you to come up with, book titles or character names

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For me, it’s definitely coming up with a book title. Because I’m primarily writing a series, I want the titles to all work together, to where they sound like they’re part of a “family” of books. And then, I want them to be memorable, to not be something already used by another writer (at least, not on the blockbuster level). I don’t want to be one of 5 or 10 authors who wrote a book by the same name if possible.

By comparison, coming up with names is simple. I usually start with a feel for who the character is, what sort of person…

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Character Actions: Should There Be a Reason Why? by Andrea Lundgren

Characters do all kinds of things in fiction. Their actions make up the stories we write, and if they did nothing…it’d be pretty boring.

But how much motivation should there be in what they do? Do you, as the author, need to always know why they’re doing it, or can they just “do something for doing it”?

Let’s take a look at a scene and see how it works.

She walked over to the glass. On the other side was a habitat, all sand and rocks with only a few scaly plants, the surface of their stems mirroring that of the creature who should’ve been inside.

Slowly, she touched the glass. Her hand stayed there for a long moment, not moving, in firm but gentle contact against the clear silica-based partition until it slowly began to warm to her touch.

Then she backed away.

Now, we, as readers, don’t need to know why she touched the glass at this point in the story. It can be something we’re left to speculate about, wondering if she misses the creature or if she is trying to see whether, perhaps, it’s still hiding somewhere in there. Or we could later learn that she touches the glass out of solidarity with the creature, feeling like her own life is encased in glass and she longs to break free, to escape like the lizard or snake did.

Keep reading via Character Actions: Should There Be a Reason Why?

Short Story Writing Contest! $250 Cash and Prizes Worth Over $3,200

(Posted on Into the Writer Lea by Andrea Lundgren)

Hi all! I’m excited to announce A Writer’s Path’s first writing contest. We have an excellent panel of 5 judges and 6 sponsors, and we’re looking to make this a large event.

Writing contests are a great way to gain experience and have the possibility of winning cash and prizes. For the winners, it’s also a great thing to add to your writing resume.

Prizes:

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via Short Story Writing Contest! $250 Cash and Prizes Worth Over $3,200

The Best Fantasy Novels You’ve Never Heard Of by Andrea Lundgren

I frequently get questions from fellow readers for fantasy book recommendations. I have well-known favorites (The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Hobbit) but then my list goes off to books that are less known, so I wanted to share the best with all of you. These have been picked based on the quality of writing, world-building, characterization, and the fact that…well, I love them all! 🙂

Check out Andrea’s list of The Best Fantasy Novels You’ve Never Heard Of  
I’m happy to say that my Wind Rider Chronicles series made the list! 


Andrea Lundgren is a Book Coach, Editor, and Author who enjoys books and all things writing–why we write, how we write, and what we read to write better.
Visit her blog at https://andrealundgren.com/into-the-writer-lea/

4 Ways to Make a Scene Matter by Andrea Lundgren

In writing, we’re told to “kill our darlings” and get rid of the bits of writing we love if they don’t serve the story.

But what if we could take those little scenes and transform them into something useful, incorporating the elements that are near and dear to our heart with the plot?

It won’t always work–some writing is just too self-conscious, too pretentious, and too wordy to survive the editing process–but you have some options of what to do with those scenes besides sending them to the chopping block…

Continue reading on Andrea’s blog: 4 Ways to Make a Scene Matter

Book Review: Into the Shadow Wood

Thanks to Andrea Lundgren for providing a thorough review of my novella, Into the Shadow Wood. She is a fantastic reviewer, book coach, writer, and blogger. Read the entire review and find out more about Andrea on her blog.


Title: Into the Shadow Wood by Allison D. Reid

Genre: Fantasy/Short Story

Book Description from Goodreads: Once a proud member of the Sovereign’s prestigious personal guard, Einar has lost everything: his home, his Sovereign, and his purpose. Most of his closest friends have either been killed in battle or executed. His friend Nevon died trying to fulfill a dangerous oath…one that Einar disagreed with, but now feels honor-bound to take up in his stead. The quest plunges Einar into the depths of the dark and twisted Shadow Wood, testing the limits of his strength, his beliefs, and his sanity. What he finds in the Wood is far more ominous than anything he’d expected. If he’s not careful, Nevon’s fate might end up being his own.

Book Review: Having read the two novels that are out of The Wind Rider Chronicles, I was quite excited when Allison announced that there’d be a short story continuing Einar’s journey, and even more delighted when she asked me to review the novella. Einar was my favorite character from Journey to Aviad, and this story takes up where that novel left off. So here’s a closer look…

Source: Book Review: Into the Shadow Wood

Liebster Award!

Adam at Write Thoughts nominated me for a Liebster Award last week! I was quite surprised and honored that he thought of my blog. Thank you again, Adam–I know you’ve been waiting to see the answers to your questions, and I’m sorry it took so long. But first I’d best share what the rules are for everyone else reading this post, and for those I’ve nominated in turn (the list is at the bottom of the page).

– Say thank you to the person who has nominated you for the award.
– Answer the 11 questions the person has asked you.
– Nominate 11 people (comment on their blog to let them know).
– Ask the people you have nominated 11 questions

Adam’s questions to me:

1. What is your favorite book, or if you prefer, your favorite author?

My favorite author is C.S. Lewis—not just for the Chronicles of Narnia, which are dear to my heart, but for the entire breadth of his writing. The more I get to know his body of work, the more he amazes me.

2. Is there a country you have always wanted to visit, if so where?

Ireland! You’d think I would have gotten there while I was living in Germany, but I never made it that far. It is still on my “someday” list.

3. What do you enjoy about blogging?

Connecting with other authors and readers. My blog also gives me a chance to express interests not specifically related to my books.

4. What’s your preferred writing space?

My desk, boring as that is. More important than the space is the atmosphere though. I need a quiet place to write, with soft lighting and no distractions. I have to be able to mentally leave this world and enter another one, so anything that continually pulls me back into reality hinders my progress.

5. How do you find inspiration?

I find inspiration in lots of places: my medieval history research, old myths and legends, the Bible, out in nature, and sometimes in the faces of strangers. My starting inspiration for my current book series was an online medieval roleplaying game and all the characters and stories that came out of it. I have a pretty active imagination, so it doesn’t take much of a spark to set it off.

6. What do you like to do for fun when you need a break from writing?

Writing-related research, building cool stuff in Minecraft with my family, playing with our pets, reading, yoga, and going to our local sports club for some much needed time on the exercise machines or in the pool. (I’ve got to get out of that desk chair sometime!)

7. What started you down the road of writing?

I’m not sure—I have been putting creative words to paper since I first learned how to write a sentence back in first grade. There have certainly been people who have encouraged me along the way, and shaped who I am as a writer, but I think writing is just part of who I am.

8. What’s one story you keep recommending to others?

There isn’t really one story that I recommend. If I do this at all, it is when I know a particular book will resonate with the person I’m talking to.

9. How do you keep yourself motivated?

The stories running through my head are motivating enough. Once the ideas start coming together into a cohesive plot, I just have to get them out in written form.

10. What superpower would you choose and why?

I would want the power to move through time, with no ability to interfere—just to observe. I would finally get to experience the daily life of another era; something historians can only guess at. I’d be able to write some really amazing Medieval Monday posts! It would be pretty awesome to go back and visit my ancestors too. Forget digging through old land deeds, obituaries, and marriage licenses. I’d find out who they really were, the good and bad alike, and see where they came from with my own eyes.

11. What four people would you invite to a dinner party; contemporary, historical, or fictional?

I would go to the Eagle and Child and sit down with the Inklings for an evening. I’d be completely intimidated by all of them, of course, and I doubt they would think much of my writing, but it would be a dream come true to just be in their company.

Now here are my nominations for the Liebster Award! (In no particular order):

Into the Writer Lea – Andrea Lundgren
Literature and Lamp Posts – David Wiley
Books and Beverages – Jamie Lapeyrolerie
Lee Duigon
Renee Writes – Renee Scattergood
Robertson Writes – Joshua Robertson
Chris the Story Reading Ape – Chris Graham
Frederick Anderson
Blonde Write More – Lucy Mitchell
Smorgasbord – Variety is the Spice of Life – Sally G. Cronin Stories of Adventure and Friendship – Duri Rolvsson

And since I’ve taken a week to get this far, I am going to cheat a little and ask my nominees many of the same questions I was asked (with a few differences). They were great questions, and I’m interested to see how your answers compare with mine anyway! 🙂  Have fun!

1. What is your favorite book, or if you prefer, your favorite author?
2. Is there a country you have always wanted to visit, if so where?

3. What do you enjoy about blogging, and how has your blog changed in unexpected ways since you started it?

4. What’s your preferred writing and/or blogging space?

5. How do you find inspiration?

6. What do you like to do for fun when you need a break from writing (or from your blog)?

7. What started you down the road of writing and/or blogging?

8. Are there any Indie authors you would recommend to readers looking for a good book?

9. How do you keep yourself motivated?

10. What superpower would you choose and why?

11. What four people would you invite to a dinner party; contemporary, historical, or fictional?