The character who was John Highlord when I started writing has been replaced with Thomas Soame, because I realized matters would work better if I used an alderman who was also a member of Parliament later on, and both of them are minor enough figures that they don’t rate entries in the DNB. (Ergo, I can make stuff up and not worry too much about somebody knowing I’m wrong.)
So I ask you: why, pray tell, does my subconscious want to insist that Thomas Soame wouldn’t talk the way I had John Highlord do? Why does it object to him being broad-shouldered? Everything I know about both of these men would fit into a paragraph shorter than this one, and it consists of a handful of dates regarding their public service. I don’t know what they looked like. I don’t know what their personalities were. Yet my subconscious resists the swap.
This, chickadees, is why naming is sometimes a giant problem for me. If I don’t find the right name, I often can’t write the character, and it’s like pulling teeth to change a name once it’s settled in. Some bit of my brain decides nobody named Thomas Soame could possibly be a blunt-spoken, broad-shouldered guy, and god only knows how long it will take to convince it otherwise.
This job would be easier if my brain were rational.