The joy of being deeply organised but scruffy is this: I bought and wrapped Christmas presents for last year, put them in a pile and watched as they slowly got buried under weeks of junk mail, unused dog bags and leaves brought in by the puppies.
The Christmas presents from last year are still in the spare room, wrapped and sealed in their addressed envelopes. I honestly thought I had sent them, but it turns out – I’m just extra prepared for this year.
Growing up, I always felt the need for cold and snowy weather as we headed towards July. On coming up to November, I would search out shorts and t-shirts and wonder why I was so cold. I have always been a little bit backwards.
And this is how the book is going. I was happy with my timeline. I wrote chapters one to five. I deleted and cut and pasted as appropriate, and then realised the book was the wrong way around. That was annoying in its way, but I now realise, I have always struggled with the start of the book.
I am painfully aware of the clunky expositional quality of introductions, I know who my characters are but you don’t, and in explaining them, I try not to explain too much (to keep one or two secrets about them to myself, in the hopes that something deeper will spur the reader to, you know, read) but in the absence of a character, new to the area, who has to be introduced to the neighbourhood, I have to give my reader (I don’t presume more than one) an idea of who these people are.
So, here’s the thing: I have a barman character. He could be more than he is.
He hasn’t progressed as far in life as he might have hoped. He’s around thirty, untravelled, untrained, a good barman because he’s a born listener, but he thinks he should do a course in something heavy – maybe history, something that makes him out to be intelligent. In truth, he is intelligent and could be doing more than mopping tables and escorting drunks out into the mid-Devon night.
The trouble is, every name I come up with for him sounds – weak, dull, flatline. So, I turn it over to you, my blogging reader. What should I name the barman who could be more than he is? I like to think this could be a reader-contribution to the Legend of my epic, but in truth, you’ll be saving me from my brain.