I also play an alphabet name game to put myself to sleep when insomnia strikes (I rarely make it past “M”).
Last night my two obsessions merged. I woke up around 3:45 A.M.–way too early! And I could not fall back asleep.
So, I decided to resort to my old insomnia standby–the name game. However, I was tired of playing masculine names, feminine names, and cities of the world, so I decided to make up names I could use in my fiction. I only intended to amuse myself until sleep overtook me, but I didn’t get past “A” before I realized I had to write these down.
Turning on only the dimmest of lights, I curled up in my nest in the family room with a white legal pad, a smooth flowing pen, and my cozy blanket made for me by a dear friend, and away I wrote. The rules:
- three names for each letter of the alphabet
- write brainstorm/free-write fashion–no stopping, no thinking
- at least one one-syllable name per letter.
I was done in ten minutes. Here are some of the results of my middle-of-the-night exercise:
Now I do realize places with these names may already exist. However, I have not yet encountered them so they get to stay on my list. I will transfer the results of this exercise to my name book, so someday, when I am revising and I come across a blank where I did not want to stop during the drafting process to think of a name, I can turn to my little flowered book and choose one.
This was a most satisfying endeavor. Upon reaching “Zander,” I laid my pen and paper aside, went back to bed, and fell right to sleep.