I don’t know why but I did something strange last night. I introduced a character in Chapter 2 of my novel but I named her after an old acquaintance of mine. I typed both her first and last name and she became a character in my novel (but it wasn’t really her, it was a fictional character.) I knew I should’ve changed the character’s name right away but I didn’t. I don’t know why. I went to bed, happy with what I had written and where my story has gone so far.
In the morning, I was troubled about naming this character after a girl I had a crush on in high school. I knew as soon as I woke up that I would need to change the character’s name. I decided to go online and Google her name. I had to see what would happen. I thought that for sure she would be married by now and I probably wouldn’t find her in cyberspace. I was wrong. I found her.
I found a newspaper article on her. It was a slice of life article in the Hamilton Spectator, the local newspaper. The article was only one year old. It was interesting to read where she has ended up in life. I was never really close to her. We weren’t even really friends. We had one class together in high school and worked together on a group project once. That was about it.
I think it is absolutely amazing how you can type a name into a search engine and find out something about that person. It’s almost scary. But it does give us a way to catch up, especially if it is a person you couldn’t just call out of the blue.
It turns out that this girl still has the same name. She isn’t married. The article interviews her about the struggles of being a single mother. It was kind of sad to read that she didn’t end up living her dream, not that she can’t mind you. She’s the same age as me, and we are both still young.
So now I know more about someone I just randomly thought about last night. I still really like the sound of her name and did a further Google search to find that her last name is common. So my character got a new first name but will share my old acquaintance’s last name. I hope she doesn’t mind.