Justine: The Name Game, Part 2

eight ladies writing, justine covington, fiction, writing, family names, romance writingLast Friday, Michaeline posted about character names and how she picks them. I’ve had a bit of a name conundrum myself, which I’ve been avoiding like an ostrich with his head in the sand, hoping it’ll all go away.

Okay, I exaggerate. My naming problem isn’t a big one. Susannah’s last name is Humphries. As I think about my next book (and the next, and the next), all of which are about other family members directly related to Susannah (and sharing the same last name), I realized that Humphries just isn’t a roll-off-the-tongue name. And, as my husband pointed out, it has the word “hump” in it.

One could argue that I’m either a) getting ahead of myself or b) planning well, but I want to have a family name that Continue reading

Justine: When Favorites Aren’t Favorites Anymore

eight ladies writing, justine covington

(c) Justine Covington

This past week, while on a family vacation, I decided to go back and revisit one of my most favorite romances — The Bride by Julie Garwood. It’s the story of Jamie and Alec Kincaid; she’s an English bride, he’s a Scottish laird, and she’s having some trouble “settling in” to her new home in the Highlands. Not to mention someone is trying to kill her. Alec, who swore he wouldn’t love his wife, falls head over heels for her in no time. It’s a cute story with lots of verbal sparring and a feisty heroine, yet when I finished it the other night, I wondered to myself, “Why did I like this book so much?”

Time has taken it’s toll on The Bride…time and my newfound knowledge about what generally makes good or not-good story. The biggest chafe I had when rereading this was the point-of-view. Garwood wrote it in omniscient, so within a single scene, she skipped back and forth between Jamie, Alec, and even several secondary characters. It wasn’t necessarily disorienting…I always knew who was “thinking,” but what I didn’t like about it was the lack of mystery. I knew everything that every character was thinking, and it was a bit of a let-down. I know POV isn’t something I ever thought about when reading this book in the past (and I know this because when I took my first stab at writing something, my POVs were all over the place — I figured it was “the norm”), but it’s certainly something that’s front and center to me now, particularly because my current WIP has three distinct POVs. Continue reading