BrooksBlog: The Importance of Names

Woke up this morning struggling mightily with the outline for the second book in the new Legacy of Shannara series (which begins publishing in August 2012). I was fifteen chapters into this seemingly endless effort and realized that the name of one of the key characters was wrong. No particular reason it was wrong; it just was. So I had to come up with a new name and couldn’t do it. I worked for almost 45 minutes and nothing I came up with worked. Frank, Al, Monica, Dick Cheney – nope. Because of this, I was blocked. See, I can’t write about characters without knowing who they are and for me that starts with a name. Not just any name – the right name. It says something about the character, and I need to feel that something to write about him or her. So I sat there, thinking about this and that and getting nowhere. Wrote most of this blog. Wasted all that time. Sometimes I wish I were normal. But, hey, show me the blueprint for that!

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Written by Terry Brooks
I am the author of the Shannara, Landover, and Word/Void series, as well as Star Wars: The Phantom Menace and Street Freaks. I love to write, read, and travel. For more information about me, you can read my writing guide/memoir, Sometimes the Magic Works.