Something cute must die

Don't panic, I'm writing fiction here. I worked on my novel again today and added several thousand more words. Today was all about my victim character, Chloe.

Throughout her entire journey, Chloe referred to Mommie and Daddy. I've even capitalized them, to make them into pseudo-names. I like the way it keeps things closer to her perspective. Only today I came to a section where the adults have to talk about her. It's just creepy to have them refer to each other as Mommie and Daddy.

I could give them names at this point, but I'm 25 chapters into this bugger. I think it pulls readers out to name them this late in the game. I'm going to have to go back and give them names at an earlier point. Chloe can still say Mommie and Daddy, but for the sake of readers I need to give them real names. It was cute right up to the point where it wasn't. Now I need a last name that works with Chloe.

I also ran into a therapy problem. Chloe is in the hospital, and everything has hit the fan in her world. I want the unjustified threat of Child Protective Services to push Mommy and Daddy to do the right thing. Sure, they could simply do the right thing, but why throw away a perfectly good tension point?

Chloe has become a self cutter. She's much too young, but it's a manipulation by an outside influence. It's time to get her a bit of help, and a huge dose of antibiotics. Then I can jerk the rug out from under her.

Google failed me, and tried to convince me to get help for my own problem. I called a member of my critique group, who happens to be a therapist. He told me I have a doctor committing a HIPAA violation. (Which could actually happen, but it's not Doc's story. No need of a tension point here.) He gave me some good food for thought and I'm going to change things up a bit.

The important thing is I don't have to be perfect. I only have to be plausible. It matters for about two pages in the whole novel. This is speculative fiction, so some suspension of disbelief is required. I want to save that for the important, supernatural type things. (Of which there are plenty.)

Note to self: This is a good line. I don't have to be perfect, I only have to be plausible.

I also have at least one MD, a nurse, and an admitted cutter who follow this blog. If I need some help, I may send up smoke signals.

In other news, with a new month comes new wallpaper. This time it's a creepy old phrenology chart. Phrenology was a belief that things could be predicted about someone by reading the shape of their skull. This included medical issues as well as fortunes.

In other- other news, I scored another wonderful five star review for The Cock of the South. That ought to fuel my writing for a month or so.



Filed under Writing

42 responses to “Something cute must die

  1. I had two characters in my crime novel that beta readers called me on. They were just two thugs but had the presence of a couple of chapters and I kept referring to them as first and second, then younger and older, taller and shorter…nothing was consistent. Then we just decided to write it where they got identified by name early on. Sihn and Chan…they’re Vietnamese.

    When I was working psychiatry cutters were really hard to deal with. Their low self esteem and anxiety are deeply intense. Painful to watch.


  2. I’ve had that name issue happen a few times, but it was because the characters didn’t make an appearance until later. I had them introduce themselves by name to clear up the mystery.

    That is a good line.


  3. I like not naming them, honestly. As for HIPAA, it doesn’t apply in situations where the patient is in danger, like self harm or abuse. I don’t know exactly what you are going for but an over zealous, young doctor who doesn’t know any better and is out to save the world so to speak…


  4. Sounds like you had a pretty productive day overall. This new one sounds good… cant wait!


  5. Well thank God you’re not offing a kitten or a bunny, LOL! Love the title of your blog post but wasn’t sure what to expect. And now confession time: one of my pet peeves is when I read Mommie or Daddy (or you get the picture) in POV. I don’t know why it raises my hackles but for some reason it throws me out of the story. I’d much rather have HER Mommie and daddy, so I’m all for naming them early. I’m probably in the minority in this, but just thought I’d share my .02. 😀


  6. Love the line! It’s going on my wall next to Wil Wheaton’s: “The point isn’t to be perfect, but to get excited and make something!”


  7. I like not naming Mommie and Daddy.
    And I like the background. Is groovy.


  8. I love get we get to see a bit of your writing process here. Thanks Craig 🙂 However, it’s making me jealous! I need to carve out some Blake writing time soon!


  9. Have you tried the last name generator for Chloe’s last name? It spits out some weird ones, but you can also narrow it down by ethnicity and get some good solid names. There are a few name generators out there, ones for sci-fi, fantasy, etc. Let me know if you have trouble finding them, if you want to test them out, and I’ll send you a link. LOVE the new background and what it represents. I’m fascinated by Phrenology.


    • I’ve played with those. They work pretty well. I usually go to an MLB roster or NFL roster. I need to do something with the names this morning. I like to change the wallpaper. The leeches were hungry, and phrenology is archaic enough to fit here.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. This is kind of embarrassing, but I still call my parents Mom and Dad. But I knew their names because they called each other by name. I just wouldn’t have dared to try it! So I’d suggest working in some dialogue where the parents call each other by name. This puts the knowledge into Chloe’s and the reader’s mind without forcing her to use uncharacteristic dialogue..


  11. Why can’t Mommie and Daddy call each other Honey and Dear?


  12. It’s interesting to get a peak into your writing process. I love your line about only needing to be plausible, as well as the Wil Wheaton one mentioned above.
    I also love the phrenology wallpaper. Phrenology shows up in some Victorian novels, such as Jane Eyre.


  13. Hi! I had a similar situation in my first book with my main character’s mom. It can be tricky––those names. You’re right the new wallpaper is creepy. I like it. 😉


  14. I am a nurse, though not necessarily a good one.


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