When it comes to writing, I'm a stickler for two things: names and titles.
Character names a big deal for me. The name Andi Cutrone was the result of Andi being my favorite girl's name when I was a teenager (Andrew my favorite boy's name), and Cutrone was the last name of a boy I liked in high school. The joke of Andi dating a guy named Andrew was too good to pass up, and I also wanted Andrew to give her an unusual nickname, hence the phonetic shortening of her last name, "Cutch". (I like nicknames too, if you hadn't noticed.)
Way back when I had first conceived of Faking It, I had thought to play on names that juxtaposed with very Catholic associations. (Maggie came from Magdelene, and Christian explains itself). Devin came from "devilish" -- but I also wanted him to have a name that meant something really special. I learned that David means "beloved".
Sam? That was my blatent homage to Sam Seaborn from The West Wing (right down to the Rob Lowe description-- I was watching a helluva lot of West Wing at the time). The name Vanzant came from my perusing my bookshelf and looking for a last name that would go well with Sam.
Like charcter names, titles have to "feel" right to me. They have to be eye-catching, ear-catching, and they have to take on the identity, the soul of the story. The original title for Faking It was The Escort. (I had played around with a different title for Ordinary World, too -- Making It -- too corny, I decided early on).
So I thought I'd give myself a little challenge. Sort of a writing improvization. You give me either a title or a character's name, and I'll write a story, or a chapter, or an essay, or hell, maybe even a poem using that title or name. I figure I'll take the five best titles/character names, and write one piece per week and post them here. (Then again, given my schedule, it might have to be one per month!)
I'll give you a week. You can submit as many titles or character names as you want.
Whattya say? Do you dare me?