"It's not natural," she wrote, "to use names that often."
So instead of writing, "Sadie, I know how distressing and probably exhausting that admission was for you to say those words," my partner wanted me to simply remove Sadie. It should be clear, if the piece is written well, who is speaking. (I'm not saying that sentence is either profound or exceptionally well-written; I simply use it as an example.)
I found multiple other places in the manuscript where names were to be eliminated, too, and in the midst of revising, I started to slash them all.
|You can find a patch like this here.|
Yes, I use names ALL THE TIME HERE, for what I think boils down to three reasons:
- I have first-born identical twins who spend a large amount of time together. I have always had to use a name in our conversations so that it was clear to whom I was speaking. Otherwise, I'm grouping Zoe and Talia together, all the time, and that goes against the Twin Parenting Code of Conduct.
- In a house with four children and multiple animals, for clarity's sake, we often use names. "Do you want rice or potatoes?" doesn't work in this house. You must add a name to the dialogue because yes, sometimes the animals answer. And any time I want to address Tim, I start off with, "Timmy!" (Ask him, it's true.)
- When I'm talking to a friend or a child or a colleague who really needs me to listen and dispense advice, I purposefully say the name several times. I feel more connected to that person and I hope they hear me better and understand that I'm truly trying to listen and help.