Still processing the change of name of my picture book character. Amadi turned out to be much better than me at this. But I have good reasons. More than ever, I realize the importance of each and every word in a picture book text. I already knew that, of course. But now, I'm experiencing it in a very real - and confusing - way. Whenever I try to read the whole text with the name Amadi in place of Ifeanyi, it sounds all funny - funny as in strange, not as in laughing funny, even though that would also be a problem, as the story is not exactly comic. I was very careful to choose a new name that ended with the same sound, foreseeing such problem, but I also had to LIKE that name, and in the end, I was unable to find one...
a) which I really liked, hear a name that spoke to me, a name that seemed to adopt my Ifeanyi
b) which ended with the same sound
c) which had four syllables.
I do like the name Amadi. But it has only three syllables. I find that disruptive. And I'm having a hard time deciding whether it's me still unconsciously resisting this name change, whether it's just old habit - I have written some 57 millions versions of this story over the past 5 years after all - or whether, really, it doesn't flow the way it used to. And I can't ask my critique group because they've also seen and read the old version with Ifeanyi a number of times. Plus, we are still on break. But it reminds me, if I ever needed to be reminded, how crucial the music of the text is in a picture book. Sentences not only have to flow in a seamless way, they must carry an internal tune. And I can't overdo it. I need to read it, try to make some changes, let it rest, go back to it. That's the only way I've found to deal with this problem so far.