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What’s in a Name?

15 Sep

When we did the gimmick month of having to incorporate sentences, I merely tried to incorporate different sentences into a story that largely had nothing to do with the sentences. I imagined that’s what would happen when we used names.

Instead, something crazy happened – the names dictated the story, and I am really pleased that this is how it is turning out.

When I noticed that 2 of the 3 names we had jointly picked were female and that 3 of the four Aaron had picked for me could be female, that made me already rethink what I could do. Instead of fighting it, I went with it, and for my 3 names, picked 2 females and the silliest name on the entire list (Rock Tom-Tom). I did this mainly to challenge myself, but it is how I managed to work a band into the story. I’m sorry, Rock Tom-Tom just seems like a great band name, especially a grrrrl band.

But what happened next was surprising to me. Not only were the names dictating the story, the fact that I was using names actually became pivotal TO the story. It’s sorta meta, and I’m not sure I can explain it properly, but when I use a name in my story, it is very key that I am USING a name in the story. It’s not simply a character in the story, but it is an essential part to the story itself. So a (good) story has come out of this, one that has actually required much more research than I’d ever imagined, and the names are pivotal in it.

More than that, I even got to use the “joke” of the story of Scotty Moskowitz. Here was the explanation that came with the name:

“I had friends in the small-town radio biz. Whenever the other team put a player in the game — any sport, at any level, high school or college — whose name and number weren’t in the program, they called him Scotty Moskowitz. Our sports editor, who was a one-man operation and couldn’t always travel with the out-of-town team, would cover some games by radio. He eventually caught on when he realized that not only was Scotty Moskowitz scoring baskets for high school hoops teams in the region, he was also catching passes in junior college football games. During the same academic year.”

I’ve also changed the format of the story (it IS a case study) and it’s all being written in the present tense. I’m just heaping the challenges on this month. And I’m really excited about how it will turn out. I might have to go back and remove the vague lesbian overtones, though. I’m not sure if they help the story. (I might have just included this sentence so I don’t feel bad about tagging “lesbians” in this post.)

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