Most of the feedback I’m getting from A Bother of Bodies is positive, some even very enthusiastic, but I’ve had a couple of people complain about the same thing; name confusion.
Mabel, due to her unorthodox upbringing, knows some pretty shady characters, and tends to address them by nicknames. Shady characters also like to use aliases, so one person could have a variety of names. Bernard Goosenhammer could be known as Goosie to his friends, Basil Gottenburg to his marks, Bubblehead to his enemies, and Sweetie to his mother.
All that can be confusing.
So I’m determined not to do the same with A Devotion of Dads. Use one name only. Either the nickname consistently throughout the book, or their real name. But by the time I received this feedback, the first draft of ADOD was done, and nicknames were running amok in it.
No problem. Word has a Find and Replace feature, I’ll simply input “DD” as the find (short for Dusk-to-Dawna due to her insatiable sexual appetite), and replace all of them with Dawna. Also, Christine, Mabel’s boss at Security International, is called Kick Ass behind her back, and I even shortened it to KA so I’ve taken one name and attributed two nicknames to it. No wonder I confuse readers. But, again, no problem. I know how to fix it. Find all the DD’s, replace them with Dawna. Find all the KA’s, replace them with Christine. Simple, right?
Now, whenever a character ‘nodded’ it was turned into ‘noDawnaed’. ‘Added’ was ‘ADawnaed” and ‘okay’ was now ‘OChristiney’. You get the drift. Word took all the dd’s and ka’s, not just the capitalized DD’s and KA’s, and turned my whole manuscript into a soDawnaing mess.
I haven’t even tried to correct it. I’ll put it away for a couple of weeks, and then during my first rewrite, when I have more patience, I’ll correct them manually. And curse Word each time. To this day, I still don’t understand what keys I hit when suddenly my keyboard wants to type hieroglyphics.
There’s a meme going around Pinterest and it goes something like this; when women go for a drink they call each other Marlene, Val, and Linda. When guys go for a drink they call each other Meathead, Flipper (R.I.P. Phil), and Dickhead. The meme also states that when the bill comes the guys will throw in twenty bucks each and call it even. Women will get their calculators out.
This picture has nothing to do with anything. I just think it’s funny. And a good warning.
For those signed up for my newsletter, I sent one out today. April is a busy month for me, I have a flash coming out April 17 at Every Day Fiction. The book club at the Public Library is reading ABOB and have asked me to stop in and talk about the writing process. I’ve posted the query letter I’m sending out to agents and have asked for some feedback on it. Going to a Thessalon workshop on the 25th. Busy, busy. Sign up for my newsletter, it’s on your right in the sidebar, if you’re interested in more details and links to the events.
And if anyone knows the correct way to use Find and Replace in Word, I’d love to hear from you.