Plot threads and names

More plotting tonight on NextLife. I wrote a very rough outline of one entire plot thread that runs through the complete story, with two of the six major characters as the primary people in the thread. This is an important thread as it serves as the backbone for the rest of the story and provides a great deal of motivation for the actions that are taking place. From this thread, I should be able to parse out the remaining threads and see where they fit in, and where they intersect.

I also considered my character names. This particular story takes place more than 2,000 years in the future, and yet I used ordinary names in the novella and the more I thought about it, the more I felt I needed names that seemed less familiar. I renamed 4 of the 6 main characters given them both less familiar names and more meaningful ones. (Incidentally, I discovered a great name website while doing this called Behind the Name which bills itself as “the etymology and history of first names”. It is actually very well organized and I found it to be very helpful.)

I probably spend about 90 minutes on this stuff this evening. All the chores are done and I’m getting sleepy so I’m heading off to bed. I’m going to try and squeeze in more plot threads tomorrow.

About Jamie Todd Rubin

Jamie Todd Rubin writes fiction and nonfiction for a variety of publications including Analog, Clarkesworld, The Daily Beast, 99U, Daily Science Fiction, Lightspeed, InterGalactic Medicine Show, and several anthologies. He was featured in Lifehacker’s How I Work series. He has been blogging since 2005. By day, he manages software projects and occasionally writes code. He lives in Arlington, Virginia with his wife and three children. Find him on Twitter at @jamietr.