Naming Oops

So I’m going along working on my new book (and seriously, it’s amazing how much progress you can make when you ignore the internet for days at a time) and I’ve got a little over 40K words when it suddenly hits me that the name of one of my two main characters is the same as the name of one of the main characters — the POV character, in fact — from my last published story. [headdesk] So I picked a new name, did a search/replace and kept going. Although I still catch myself using the old name periodically, so I’ll have to do another search/replace when I’m finished, just to make sure I don’t have one of those mid-text name changes once the book hits publication, ’cause that’s really embarassing.

[I know, that’s one of the things editors are for, but I’ve seen it happen in other people’s books so obviously editors can miss these things too.]

Anyone else here ever done that? Anyone? Show of hands…? [wry smile]

What’s really annoying is that I do keep written track of all the names of major characters in my published and hopefully-to-be-published stories. I have no idea how I missed the duplication, although I suppose having to swap in mid-stream will encourage me to check the Already Used list more carefully in the future.

The second annoying thing is that I used to be able to keep the names of every character I’d ever written in my head, along with characteristics and plotline. Heck, I used to be able to remember the title and character names of every book I’d ever read in my head; that petered out somewhere in my mid-twenties or so, at which point I owned four or five thousand books and had read a lot more. It’s weird that I was ever able to do this, because my memory for individual data items has always been pretty abysmal, other than this one quirk. But still, you’d think I’d at least remember my own characters. 😛

Angie, heading back to the word processor

Published by


Angela Benedetti lives in Seattle with her husband and a few thousand books. She loves romance for the happy endings, for the affirmation that everyone who's willing to fight for love deserves to get it and be happy with someone. She's best known for her Sentinel series of novels, the most recent of which is Captive Magic.