Naming names. I’m working on something new – sort of trying it on to see how it fits – and the characters are bugging me. The worst part is, I know exactly what’s wrong: I can’t come up with the right names. I can see them clearly enough. I’ve got a pretty good handle on how they think and why they do stuff. But the names aren’t right. You know what I mean. It’s the same way in real life. Some guys are christened Michael and that’s who they are forever. The Michael in the next crib over is Mike as soon as he shows up and you know the only people who’ll ever be comfortable calling him Michael are his mother and his wife. There’s a page of names out there somewhere showing how Dickens struggled to name Nicholas Nickleby. I probably take more solace from that than I should, but I figure if Dickens had trouble, I’m allowed any amount of stumble and halt. So let’s hear it for calling people names – so long as they work.