Evelyn Chartres Author
Evelyn Chartres – Page 55 – Author (Nom de Plume)

Yet Another Revision of Hadrian’s Legacy

Hadrian’s Legacy available on:
Google Docs
Wattpad

I have completed my fourth review of Hadrian’s Legacy. This story focuses on the construction of the Grand’s defensive wall, the Georgian involvement and the reasons behind it being commissioned. John is also introduced to the existence of the Grand in this hard-hitting revelation.

There were 31 modifications made to this 8 page chapter leading to a jaw-dropping 71% reduction in changes when compared to revision three.

Both Google Docs and Wattpad display the revised edition. Note that the Google Docs version permits comments and revisions, so please feel free to make use of this capability.

Yet Another Revision of Penny Dreadful

Penny Dreadful available on:
Google Docs
Wattpad

I have completed my fourth review of Penny Dreadful. This chapter introduces John Cabot to the valley, town and some of the local lore. The story focuses on The Diary of Frederick Samuels and takes place 30 years prior to the The Grand.

There were 46 modifications made to this 11 page chapter leading to an eye-popping 68% reduction in changes when compared to revision three.

Both Google Docs and Wattpad display the revised edition. Note that the Google Docs version permits comments and revisions, so please feel free to make use of this capability.

Yet Another Revision of the Man and the Sea

The Man and the Sea available on:
Google Docs
Wattpad

I have completed my fourth review of The Man and the Sea. This chapter introduces John Cabot, one of The Grand’s lead characters and deals with his love for the sea.

There 17 modifications made to this 2 page chapter leading to a 43% reduction in changes when compared to revision three.

Both Google Docs and Wattpad display the revised edition. Note that the Google Docs version permits comments and revisions, feel free to make use of this capability.

Do You Have to Have Talent to Succeed

I came across an article by Jennifer Derrick entitled Do You Have to Have Talent to Succeed?

This article is a great read, however it did make me consider certain assumptions I made in the past. Becoming great at something does not mean we are great in all aspects. The author mentioned that she was good at being a seamstress, however that alone would not make her a great fashion designer.  Sure a seamstress can mend clothing or follow a pattern, but could she create a new line of clothing on her own?  Alternatively, does a good fashion designer need to be a good seamstress? The answer is likely no.

When it comes to being a writer what elements are required to be successful? Does an author need to be a great wordsmith, an awe-inspiring editor, excellent at assembling realistic dialogue or just creative?  A writer, like being a designer require more than one skill in order to be successful in my mind.  An author may have not be able to go toe-to-toe against the worlds foremost Grammar-Nazi, however if the author can create compelling worlds, they will likely gain a following.

Even the above fails to take in every aspect. Being a great wordsmith and having the ability to create worlds that people fall in love with their works, will by itself not guarantee an audience. Self-published authors are expected to grow an audience, else they will never  gain traction.  So that means there is also a bit of luck thrown into the mix, and there people are required to grow their brand.  Most authors cannot afford to be so arrogant that they alienate their followers.

The author also noticed that many seem to give up on their dreams. I found that people tend to avoid doing things because they cannot be the best as it or they cannot handle the competitive atmosphere. In a way, being a nameless cog in the corporate machine is healthier (for some) than being in a perpetual survival mode.

I also want to note that the 10,000 hour mastery rule has been debunked. That number was normalised and is based on a specific field who were tested at a certain age.  Essentially, it serves a number which equates to the amount of effort required to master a discipline. Mastery of any field requires time and dedication, regardless of their global ranking. However that number is not the same for everyone, the truly gifted will need a lot less time.

Just my opinion of course!

On the Subject of Names

Finding a good name has been the bane of authors and expectant parents alike.  For centuries we have struggled to come up with names that fits our characters and sets them apart from our other creations.

Featured_On_The_Subject_of_Names

Would Jane Doe work as a name for this young lady?

It is my belief that stories set in the future names have no limits. How cold anyone fathom naming trends fifty years from now? How about a thousand? A good example of this phenomenon can be drawn from history. During the 1920s these were the most popular names for girls in the United States.

  • Mary
  • Dorothy
  • Helen
  • Betty
  • Margaret
  • Ruth
  • Virginia
  • Doris
  • Mildred
  • Frances

Fifty years later these were the most popular names in the United States.

  • Jennifer
  • Amy 
  • Melissa
  • Michelle 
  • Kimberly
  • Lisa
  • Angela
  • Heather
  • Stephanie
  • Nicole 

Who could have foreseen such a shift in names over a half-a-century? Mind you there is a reason why names from the 1970s are more mainstream now. Those names belong to people in their 30s to 40s which are now mothers, teachers and even celebrities.

Still we look for inspiration when it comes to finding names. We desire some sort of guide which will shine the way. Fortunately, when it comes to historical names we have the benefit of foresight.

Most countries have records spanning centuries, these also provide an invaluable source of names. The trick is to avoid using names from the decade in which the story is based. Instead, we have to rely on names from an earlier period.

For example, a forty-year old character set during the Roaring Twenties would have been born in the 1880s. Knowing this, the name Dorothy may not be accurate for someone born in that era.

For North America, a good source of names is the Social Security Administration‘s website and records.  To find names, select the decade you wish (starting from 1880) and look at the top 100 names for the period.  Next, simply scroll through the names and find one that strikes your fancy.

As for family names there are a myriad of sites which carry that information as well.  I found a site which contains the 1000 most common family names in the United States.  Again, use such sites to narrow down your selection and make it historically accurate.

That is how I came up with names like:

  • Ida Bell
  • Elmer Bell
  • Eleanor Green
  • Molly Webster
  • Thelma Walker
  • Mavis Johnson
  • Eugene White
  • Cecil Clark
  • Lewis Hall

Some of these names are clearly dated but are oddly familiar. Hence these are the names that may be associated with a  grandparent or even a great-grandparent. They feel old and dated, hence they feel authentic for someone who lived during the Roaring Twenties.

To find names which are modern, the same resources can be applied.  Just dial in the appropriate decade to work from and you are done.