I haven't really been working on my novel much lately. It's not because I have writer's block. I just decided to go back to my outline and change things a little to make the story more consistent. And when I looked over my outline, I came across something I learned awhile back but never blogged about.
So let's talk about character names.
When you write an outline for your novel, you describe scenes and the things that happen. You write about how your main character does this, then he chops off this guy's head, then he goes to have a tea party, etc... You write about many things that happen to the main character.
And your main character is important. Not only that, but all of your characters are important. And so each and every one of them has to have the perfect name for your novel. And what do you do? You spend weeks and weeks thinking of the perfect name. The name that absolutely fits your character's personality.
Let me tell you... this is a waste of time. You might think that you're making progress on your novel, but you're just being lazy. For example, in my novel, I have 6 or 7 important characters. And before I even started writing the novel, I wasted about 2 months looking up names for my characters. During those 2 months, I didn't make any progress on the story at all. And the story is the most important thing.
So don't make the same mistake as me. Focus on the story. But in the mean time, just use placeholder names for your characters. Placeholder names are just any old name you use for your characters. For example, just call your characters "John" or "Sarah" etc.... Any name would do. The point is to not waste time worrying about the names of your characters.
The only time you should worry about those names are when you're doing the final draft for your novel. Otherwise, it's just an excuse to be lazy (which I'm guilty of).
So that's my advice. Focus on the story, and not the character names. Just use a placeholder name in the mean time. Also, don't procrastinate.
By the way, for any future novels I might write, my placeholder name for my main character is going to be "main". Seriously, I'm just going to call him "main" while I write about him.
Happy writing to you all,
P.S. - If you want to know the names I've come up with for my characters while I was being lazy, check out my "Works in Progress" tab.