Name: [fill in the blank]

Someone recently asked me how I go about naming my characters, whether I find it difficult, whether the name or the personality comes first, whether I sacrifice weekly or quarterly to the name gods,* you get the idea.

I think my answer to this has shifted over time. I used to agonize over a character’s name for days, weeks, eternally. I really felt that the right name mattered, that it would help define and draw out the character. But I couldn’t bear to put a placeholder in while I waited for the right name to ride in on its unicorn. Naturally, this put a serious damper on progress.

I still feel that names are vital. But my naming experiences during the drafting of The Song of the Ash Tree were vastly different from everything that had come before.

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