Tag Archives: fictional character names

#CharacterNames #L&SR #WednesdayBlogChallenge 1.30.19

So the prompt this week is Characters I’d name a baby after. Great idea, no?

So why am I having so much trouble with it??

Here’s what I do know – characters I wouldn’t name a baby under any circumstances:

Boys first: Christian, Addicus, Ashley, Rhett, Fitzwilliam, Tom, Marvin, Bruce, Elvis

Girls next: Scarlett, Melanie, Lisbeth,  Portia, Juliette, Mulva, Hermione, Anastasia, Scout

Those names are so recognizable, and some of them are iconic, that I fear the poor child would be doomed to always being compared to his/her fictional counterparts.

 

 

 

Can you imagine a tomboy named Scarlett? Or a WWF fighter named Ashley?

I can’t either, but maybe to other writers, those would be perfect character names for their mismatched personality-typed characters.

But not for me. I like ethic names for my characters to enhance their heritage. I like naming my characters after their fictional grandparents or great aunts and uncles. I like the idea of family names and nicknames, like number-naming. You know what I mean: Harry is  grandpa, Pop in H-Two, grandson in called Trey ( for third). I know this is quirky, but I love it.

So I guess I’d better get to the actual prompt for today. Characters I’d name a baby after.

Girls first this time: Isabella, Jane, Nora, Eve

 

Boys next: Roarke, Dylan, Edward, Sonny

Since this is a blog challenge, here’s where you can find other authors who are participating and get their take on character baby names: L&SR WednesdayBlogging Challenge.

And if you’re looking for me, I’ll be busy naming my characters here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe // Monkey me //Watch me

and here’s the link to my TELL ME ABOUT YOUR DAMN BOOK podcast interview, just in case you missed it: TMAYDB

 

Advertisements

11 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

The art of #naming your characters

I love names. Especially names where you can actually see the origin. Like SIOBHAN ( Irish!) NICOLLETTE (French) ANTONIO (Italian.)

Naming characters has always been a little bit of an obsession for me because I like to find names that actually mean something inherent in the person. For instance, my name, Margaret, means PEARL. If I was going to write a story with that name as my heroine’s ( and I never will because I hate my name!!!)  I would most likely give her attributes associated with pearls – strong outer shells, they take a lifetime to evolve, they are rare. You get the idea.

When I start a new book I always start with my characters first and the naming process usually takes me a few days to get right, especially with my hero and heroine. I want their names to connect, to go together, to be individualistic, but nonetheless when you hear the names mentioned you think “couple.” Like Oprah and Stedman, Goldie and Kurt, Elizabeth and Darcy. See? They go together ( why does that song from GREASE keep playing in my mind??)

Some writers spend more time naming their fictional characters than normal, non-writing people do naming their children. I feel both are crucial. You don’t want to name your alpha hero Marmeduke and please don’t name your child Zippity Doo Cogwheel or FeMale Jones. Don’t laugh…I have a doctor friend who told me a story of her OB/GYN internship days and a couple named their daughter after the name tag the hospital gave her: Female. But they thought it was pronounced  Fe-mal-ay. People are weird. Names shouldn’t be.

There are as many books and websites detailing names as there are, well, names. Baby Naming books get new editions yearly, as the popular and trendy names for kids change with the culture. Old Bibles are great places to get names especially if you are writing an historical novel. Writers who cater to fantasy or science fiction have a great deal of leeway in naming their characters because they can call them whatever they want ( like Zippity Doo Cogwheel) since they are inventing their own world with their own rules.

You don’t even need a baby naming book – although they are a fast, easy reference tool. You’re on your computer, so just get to your search engine. If you click Google images and type in name-meaning ( and then the name you want, like Margaret) you will get an unlimited array of images with the meaning of the name. That’s how I got the Margaret sign above.

Naming your characters and then giving them attributes associated with the name is a fabulous way of actually bringing your characters to life and having them be memorable to readers. Would Scarlett O’Hara have been such an icon if Gone With The Wind was published with the original name Margaret Mitchell gave her of Pansy? “Frankly, Pansy, I don’t give a damn!” doesn’t have the weight of “Frankly, Scarlett, I don’t give a damn!”  Pansy means “thought”, Scarlett means “Sent from Heaven.” Now we all know Scarlett O’Hara never gave a “thought” to anything but herself and Tara, and as seen through the eyes of the men in her realm, sent from Heaven seems appropriate, no?

So, when you decide to name your characters ( or your children!) please please please give it careful, complete, thought. Don’t just pick a name out of the air or call them fruit ( anyone remember Apple Martin?) or weigh them down with a moniker they’ll never live down like Dweezle or Moon Unit. Give them normal, easily pronounced, meaningful names. After all, you want your readers to discuss your book with their friends and remember the characters names don’t you? You seriously don’t want them to struggle to remember what you called your hero and heroine. And if you’re really good – and very lucky – those character names will stand the test of literary time, like Elizabeth and Darcy, Jane and Rochester, Scarlett and Rhett all have.

When I’m not naming characters, you can find me here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triberr

 

3 Comments

Filed under Alpha Hero, Author, Author Branding, branding, Contemporary Romance, Literary characters, research, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women