Monday, July 11, 2011

Monday Moment #125: a writing prompt for your work-in-progress

(If you’ve already read this then skip past all the italicized blah-di-blah and start writing.) Monday Moments are writing prompts for your work-in-progress. They are questions that come from my experiences and are my favorite way to find out more about my characters. I find I learn a lot. Some of it I use. Some of it I don’t. But I always, always get to know my characters better just by answering the question. I hope you do too.)

Last Monday, the 4th, blew up on me! Not in a bad way. But in a busy Fourth of July way. Hope your day was as fun as mine. I was hoping to at least type a, See ya next week message. But I couldn't even get that much done.

Being with friends (ones that are like family) on the Fourth got me to thinking about nicknames--especially nicknames for family members. I don't think there is a family anywhere where every person goes by their traditional title: Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa, Uncle, etc. Somewhere along the line a nickname comes along and it usually happens in a very organic way.  (In my experience, a forced nickname never works.)

In our family's case, I have dear girlfriends that have been Aunties to my girls since Day One. That said, when my oldest was barely two, instead of calling my friend Auntie Roz, she became Uncle Roz (I think because she had been around uncles more than aunties). On top of that, Uncle Roz had a handsome boyfriend (who later became her husband). His name: Gabe. So when our oldest spoke of them, they became Uncle Roz and Uncle Babe, which was too cute.

The girls with Uncle Babe
On another family note, one of our youngest's first words was Sis, and she's called her big sister that ever since. When she was young if she was asked, "What's your sister's name?" her answer was, "Sis." And still today, to hear her say he sister's given name doesn't even sound right. She will forever call her Sis (and she's the ONLY one who does).

And, now about personal nicknames? I had a couple: Squirt and JD (both were my dad's nicknames for me). As for shortening my name, I didn't like it (still don't). I never wanted anyone to call me Jo. The only person who ever did, or ever I ever let, call me Jo was my little brother.

What nicknames are in your character's family and how did they come about? Does your character have any nicknames?

1 comment:

Wanda Vaughn said...

Nicknames can be fun. Does it count if my MC calls himself Jennings? (last name) In my other WIP, Emma gets called Emmy several times by her younger sister. Not too exciting, but the stories don't lend themselves to fun stuff along that line...

I get called Honda by my sisters -- especially my older one. Mom would babysit a little girl who couldn't say her W's. It stuck.