One of my ealier dilemmas was in knowing the best way to change the character name. I could manually go through and change all instances of Smith to Masterson, for example, but if there are many occurrences, I stand the risk of missing a few. The other option is to do a global search and replace in my word processor, but the issue with that inadverant changes can be made. With the example I gave previous, the word "blacksmith" would be replaced with "blackMasterson" unless I confirmed each and every change, which defeats the whole purpose of a global search and replace.
The technique that I have come up with is to add a prefix, suffix or both to my character names if there is any chance that I may want to change it. I am then ensured that a global search and replace would only impact the names of the characters. When I originally write the story and where the character name is in doubt, I would write their name as #Smith# and then when I do the search and replace, I simply replace all occurrences of #Smith# with #Masterson#. Finally, when I feel that I have committed to the character's name, I will do an additional global search and replace of #Masterson# with Masterson.
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