• Jeff South

300 Writing Prompts: Day 1


TODAY'S RANDOM PROMPT:

What is the weirdest name you can come up with? If you had to give a character a really, really unusual name, what would you choose and what would it show about their personality?


Writing KILROY WAS HERE allowed me to explore wild and exotic names for extraterrestrials and planets. The term ‘Herpezoid’ was inspired by the Reptilian conspiracy theory, which posits that shapeshifting aliens control Earth by taking human form and infiltrating the top levels of government, business, and entertainment. A character in my upcoming novel, SOMEONE ELSE’S BOOK CLUB, is based on the instigator of the Reptilian theory, David Icke. The character in the book is named Dr. Spencer Dudley, which is a fun name, too.


One of the villains of KILROY WAS HERE is Grandor The Malevolent, a sentient artificial intelligence who inhabits a humanoid form and is a real estate investor. Grandor came about because I wanted a name that evoked pomposity and arrogance. The “malevolent” part, as Grandor points out in the book, is meant ironically.


The new book has a character name I’m really fond of: Harviell Dunlap. He is the owner of a small engine repair shop who has gotten mixed up with the Herpezoids and tells anyone who will listen that he was abducted by them one night when they all “drank beer and scoped for chicks.” Friends from my hometown of Poplar Bluff, MO, will recognize Harviell as the name of a little spot in the road about ten miles south of town.


The new book will contain new aliens that were fun to name, but I think my favorite name of all is reserved for the story’s “MacGuffin.” It is a potion that goes by the street name Cincinnati Chili.


I can’t wait for you to read this book.


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