First, the Unleash Your Story update:
(see previous post for an explanation)

Three days into the challenge, the Chocolate Mafia now has seventeen members! As a team, we’ve raised $220 toward our goal already.

As for my progress toward my 20,000 word goal – eh, there hasn’t been much. About 1,200 words or so. I knew this week would be a hard week to write, which is why I kept my goal pretty low. In a normal writing month, I’d be aiming for 25-30K. The darelings start preschool again next week, which will make a huge difference. This week, we’ve been doing the back-from-vacation shopping and meet-the-teacher open-housing and what-the-heck-why-not trips to Disneyland, and I’ve had no energy to write when my day finally winds down.

But enough excuses. I will get there.

One of the projects I’m working on this month, now that I’ve finished my trilogy, is a short story that’s connected to GOTH by a very thin thread. Ever since the idea for this story took shape last year, thanks to a conversation with Vagabond Lindsey, I’ve had the heroine’s name in my head as Cecily. As I write, I’m not sure this is the best name for her anymore…her personality is coming out a bit differently than I anticipated…but that’s of no moment. Although I may eventually do a Find-and-Replace to change her name at the end, I’m going to keep writing her as Cecily. And sentences like this are why:

“Leave him alone,” Cecily added hastily.

Drat. That sounds ridiculous. It’s amazing, how this is curing me of my adverb addiction. I mean, I just can’t have phrases like “Cecily happily agreed” or “Cecily observed her companion warily” or “Merrily, Cecily danced to his side.” Horrible, horrible. Sounds like a nursery rhyme. The adverbs must go.

So, if you have a propensity to overuse adverbs, as I do, I highly recommend drafting your manuscript with a heroine named Cecily. Or Emily. Or Loralei.

6 comments to “Why you should name your heroine Cecily”

  1. terrio
    · September 4th, 2008 at 11:53 am · Link

    Whoohoo! for the Chocolate Mafia. I haven’t even begun, but I still have one more week of school. Stats final this weekend, Writing final next week and then it’s unleashing.

    I see what you mean about the name. But I’d just be tempted to give her a nick-name. My heroine is Cecelia but she goes by Celi. Still have no idea where that came from.

  2. Janga
    · September 5th, 2008 at 10:34 am · Link

    Cecily is a lovely name, Tessa–so euphonious.

    I am in revision mode now, and one of the things I am having to force myself to do is change some names. I have too many beginning with the same letters, a bad thing the experts say. But my characters are giving me a hard time; they don’t like giving up their names.

  3. Lady Leigh
    · September 5th, 2008 at 11:41 am · Link

    I love my own, personal name because it turns boring old adjectives into lively adverbs.

    Love Leigh- Lovely

    My husband calls me Leigh Leigh, which I snicker at. I myself become an adjective turned adverb- Leighly.

  4. Maggie Robinson
    · September 6th, 2008 at 5:35 am · Link

    My husband wanted to name our first daughter Cecelia, but I just kept hearing Paul Simon,

    I found it profoundly horrifying the last time I did an ‘ly’ search when I was revising. See, I can’t even manage the previous sentence w/o an adverb.

    Good luck on the CM thing! I’m contributing $ to Ely cause I’ve still not adjusted to getting back to school completely (oops). I actually (ack) went three days this week w/o writing a word. Bad me.

  5. Sara Lindsey
    · September 7th, 2008 at 10:54 am · Link

    My biggest problem is that most of those sentences sound fine to me. Maybe not the merrily one, but I am blind to adverbs. It’s a good thing I’m 5,000+ words over my limit – there are probably five thousand adverbs that could be cut from the book!

  6. Sara Lindsey
    · September 7th, 2008 at 10:58 am · Link

    I think I almost expect an “ly” next to or near the name Cecily since for me the name is inextricably linked to Beatrix Potter’s character, Cecily Parsley.