In our last Christmas letter, my son to our family about my troubles with naming characters. I have learned over the years to be very careful about not using temporary names because my characters get attached to them. In fact, I’ve gotten into a smidge of trouble with the naming of one character in SUSPECT. Since that time, I’ve used letter combinations like DEF and XYZ as placeholders. I’m not the only writer who has this problem. In fact, I smiled when I learned that Megan Whalen Turner temporarily named one of her characters Bob in the Attolia series. It was only caught during either the line edits or the copy edits.
I was on my way back from the Michigan SCBWI retreat with a fellow writer when she asked me about my choice for a main character’s name in Calyn’s story. It didn’t really fit the other names that she’d read in the synopsis. I’ve had a niggling feeling for awhile that I’d have to change it. I explained how the name had survived a lot of revisions before I made some key decisions about world-building. But this conversation pretty much confirmed that I needed to make a change. The switch from Katrin to Calyn has worked for me. Maybe I can find a name that I like just as much.