Saturday, 2 February 2013

She's a right character

So, despite the fact that last week's post talked about how difficult I've been finding it to fit everything in, I've signed up for the April A-Z Challenge again. Meaning I have to post a blog a day every day in April, apart from Sundays. 

You must be mad, I hear you say. You're probably right. But in the new more organised world that I am living in, I already have a plan in place. On the editing course that I'm doing at the moment we have been looking at the importance of voice and characters in action, and this is what has inspired my approach to this year's blog challenge. 

Every letter is going to be dedicated to the characters in novels that I have found memorable. And just to prove how very organised I now am, I have decided on characters for virtually all of the letters already. And it's only the 2nd of February - I could be taking this organisation thing too far.

As I am moving house in a few days all of my books have been packed away so the remaining letters will have to wait to be filled until we are all settled into our new home. There have been some real tussles for some of the letters, I do wish authors would use names beginning with S and T less often, but I think I have made a final decision for most of them. 

So far I have characters from Margaret Atwood, Isabel Ashdown, Damon Galgut, Marian Keyes, Peter Carey, Raymond Carver and Maggie Gee, to name a few. There are many more in place covering crime, thriller, women's fiction, literary fiction and short stories.

The ones that are still missing characters are: E, F, L, P, Q, W, Y and Z. What characters beginning with these letters have been memorable for you?


  1. A few suggestions:
    E - Elizabeth Bennett (P&P)
    F - Fanny Hill
    L - Lara (Dr Zhivago), Lyra (His Dark Materials)
    P - Petunia (Harry Potter)
    Q - Queenie (can't remember the book but have an image in my head of a black maid in some American Deep South novel)
    W - Wilhelmina (only guessing, but is this the full name of 'Mina' from Dracula?)
    Y - got me stumped. Yves? Yvonne? Yvette?
    Z - ditto. Zadie? Zenobia? How about Zebra in Life of Pi (not sure about this, since I haven't read it!)
    Good luck - sounds fun!

  2. What a totally brilliant idea! (and yes, you must be mad!) I remember a Queenie, too, but she's from Andrea Levy's Small Island. Will give the others some thought. Good luck!

    1. Thanks, Susan. Memories of that character and that novel just came flooding back. That's Q sorted and means I will have to re-read the book, which I really enjoyed but its been years since I read it.

  3. Ha! Remembered a 'Z' - Zosie from The Lollipop Shoes.

    1. Thanks for all your ideas, Whisk. Sadly I haven't read hardly any of these books though. I do like the idea of Zebra from Life of Pi - I read it years ago so will have to revisit and see if I can do the zebra!

  4. Replies
    1. Thanks, DL, and thanks for stopping by my blog! :)

  5. Hi Amanda .. that's good news - I'll be learning something!! You do the reading and teach me as I learn through the A-Z ...

    Zadie Smith .. but she's an author isn't she ..

    Zebra's fine ...

    Good luck with that house move .. cheers Hilary

    1. Thanks, Hilary. Not sure you will learn much though!

  6. Another thought for 'Z' - if you're including TV drama, there's Zainab Massood in Eastenders?

    And another for 'L' - Lolita

    And for 'E' - Eyeore from Winnie the Pooh

    In fact, there's a 'W' - Winnie the Pooh!

    And a 'P' - Mr Pickwick

    And 'F' - Fiona from Harry Bingham's latest novel

    They're coming thick and fast, now!

  7. Replies
    1. Alas, no characters from TV or film - just novels. I must confess, I've had Harry's latest on my 'To Read' pile for about 6 months. I'll move it to the top!

    2. Lots of Agatha Christie's novels and short stories feature Poirot - over 40 of them?!

  8. Yes, I know! That was in reply to your idea to use a character from Eastenders!

  9. Great idea, Amanda but I have to say, my over-riding feeling when I read this post and particularly the line, 'we're moving,' was phew! Want something done, ask a busy person...!
    The editing course sounds great. How long is it and is it expensive? I'm tempted!
    I could only come up with L - 'Lemon' in A Cupboard full of Coats, Yvvette Edwards - love that book - and I wish you still had J left as Jinx is the other main character 's name and a very clever one I thought it was too!

    1. I loved that book too, Jax. Filled in L though with Lizzy from Sworn Secret by Amanda Jennings. Just read that and a great debut.

      The course is excellent. It's 6 weeks online with The Writers' Workshop and costs £295. Worth every penny in my mind...feel a major rewrite coming on!

      Thanks for the award as well, another reader awarded it to me last year as well - I'm like a potato waffle, awfully versatile!

  10. Amanda, I always enjoy your blog so have an award for you! I've awarded you a Versatile Blogger Award. I'd love it if you could find a minute to post in response. You can read about it here:

  11. Sounds interesting, Amanda. I plan to follow in April. Good luck on the move.

  12. Thanks, Sharon. Hope you enjoy the blogs. Move went as smoothly as these things can and now feeling well settled in. So no excuse not to get on with my writing now!