Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Names

The name of your hero and heroine can be as important as your plot. I've heard authors say their books didn't really work until they changed the name of one character and then the whole thing came together.

How do you find your character names? I use books and websites but sometimes a name will come to me and I can "see" the character attached and I know I have to write that character. I also like the meaning of the name to work with who the character is. Does that make sense?

What are some of your character names? (Here are mine, hero first, then heroine.)
Book One: Ertemis and Jessalyne
Book Two: Alrik and Calleigh
Book Three: Kelly and Meredith
Book Four: Calderon and Mena

17 comments:

  1. NQD: Willem and Sabine
    ADASK: Simon and Lydia
    TMM: Bane and Emily
    Cold: Colm and Mae
    DOP: Varek and Natalya
    BBW: Maddox and Debra
    TGC: Merrick and Ryza

    Simon has been with nearly half a dozen different partners, but I think Lydia is the one who will stick. It's never just a name change for her -- it's always an entirely new character.

    Bane was a Viking when he first popped into my head. The name is probably inappropriate for the period he's in now, but it's how I think of him. He needed someone with a more ordinary name to balance him out.

    Maddox is a werewolf. Maddox -- Madoc -- mad dog was the thought progression there.

    Natalya was Russian. That was pretty much all I knew about her at first.

    Mae just showed up as Mae. Colm is based on Clive Owen. The name progressed from that.

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  2. Mine are all pretty standard.

    Right now it's Serena and Miller.

    teri

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  3. I love doing the name game, but I think the characters tell me more then I choose. I love finding the right name for the minutest detail about that person. It cements the character for me.

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  4. I agree, names are extremely important. You can almost see a character sometimes by his/her name alone.

    Here's mine:
    Miles and Tess
    Ethan and Lucinda
    Steve and Kitty

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  5. Cate and Beau
    Mercedes (goes by Mac) and Cam
    Savannah and Aidan

    Names are very important to me. Until the character tells me his/her name, I can't write their story.

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  6. D.D.D. - Marcus and Helena
    E.P. - Evan and Giselle
    H.D. - Stephan and Raquel
    W.F. - Zak and Caridad
    R.R. - Mitch and Annika

    I wish I could tell you there's a method to it, but there isn't. Names are very important to me, and I can't begin to write a story unless I've got the perfect names for my hero/heroine. I'm very anal about it.

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  7. bicknell-brown10:30 AM

    Names come to me like they do you. Sometimes I page thrugh a phone book for last names. Those really trip me up. Sometimes I give my teen dau a character sketch and she throws names at me until one sticks.

    My very first novel was written when I was fifteen. Their names were Morton (pronounced more and ton as in weight) and Tamara.

    Second one: Rowyn and Nathan

    Third: Hazel and Julian

    Fourth: Elizabeth (first draft was Amber and it just didn't click.) and Daniel

    Fifth: Ruby and Solomon

    Sixth: Maggie and Carson

    Seventh: Rachel and Cierce

    Eighth: Bethany and Randal

    Nine: Rose and Garan

    Tenth: Sable and Thomas

    Holy crap. I didn't realize until I typed all that out how many novels I had. I think I need to go lie down...

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  9. LC: Susan and Max
    WIP: Eleanor and Michael
    2nd WIP: Sam (Samantha) and Jason
    Filigre: Lainie (Short for Madeline) and hero TBA
    Finding Joy: Emma and Mark
    Forever: Alice and Bernard
    WA: Sheri and Matthew
    Hieroglyphs: Joslyn and Peter
    SV: Cliodhna and Valentine

    Wow! I have a lot of male names that start with "m" and female names that start with "s". All of these are short stories, novellas and one category romance length novel. LOL

    Some depend upon the time period in which they are set. For instance, I wouldn't give a character an obviously modern who lived in say 11th c. France. (Madeline) But I also think of what the readers will relate too. If I can find a name that is both archaic, but familiar and has a strong meaning, I will go with that. Some depend on the characters heritage.

    Kit

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  10. Dear me.
    My hero is named John.
    My heroine is named Damie.
    Perhaps I just failed a test.

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  11. Whatever comes to mind at the time or if a new person enters my story I shout out to anyone listening, 'Man's first name!' and whoever answers first is what it is.

    Works for me. Plus, it means my kids have chosen the names of people in my novels. Sort of cute.

    :o)

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  12. I tend to write paranormals, so the names reflect the fantastical.

    DAWH: Cian and Eve
    DACM: Kayne and Nailah
    FAI: Lumina and Pyroth

    But I did a contemporary recently and I wanted names that showed who my characters were, without necessarily being unusual.

    IJS: Marcus Adams and Jessica Morgan.

    Don't know but the names felt like strong, identifeable names.

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  13. Sometimes I use a friends name, or someone who's had an impact on my wife. Depending on their name of course, there's just no way to romantacize some!

    OMG I'm so jealous your going to paradise!! Have you gone already? We haven't seen you in Divas!

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  14. It depends. If the character is loosely based on someone in my real life, then I might take their real name, transpose the first and last initial and come up with a new first and last name that way. For example, if I based a character on John Smith, he might be Sam Jones in the book.

    As for the name itself and play around until one fits. For example, one of my characters is Southern. So I gave her her mother's maiden name as a middle name but she goes by her middle name instead of her first name.


    OK, here's the ones I've used (female first):
    L4L (chick lit wip which has 4 heroines):
    Fairleigh and Justin
    Lisa and (Mike--her ex-boyfriend; Ben--the guy she flirts with but turns out to be a jerk; Rob--the guy-next-door-type who she probably ends up with in the end)
    Shelby and Andrew
    Hope and Kevin

    WW shorts:
    Cassie and Andrew (hmm...apparently I like this name)
    Kelley and Dan (but his real name is Francis and that's how his grandmother kept referring to him as when she said she had a great guy to set her up with)
    Claire and Kevin (apparently I like this name, too)
    Julie and Dave (Julie is my sister-in-law's name)
    Christina and Jason

    Bites I'm working on for Freya's Bower:
    Michelle and Eric (that's a big name in my family--my brother, my husband, and my nephew are all named Eric)
    Amy and Seth (subject to change)

    YA mystery wip (no heroes yet, but will be--right now it's just the 4 heroines):
    Daniela (this is my niece's name)
    Katrina (but she goes by Kat after the hurricane)
    Maya
    Analisa

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  15. Names are sooo important! It has to be just right, so I end up calling them BOY and GIRL (or changint the name a thousand times) until I have it just right.

    The Stone Prince: Jorlan and Katie
    The Pleasure Slave: Julia and Tristan
    Awaken Me Darkly: Mia and Kyrin
    Heart of the Dragon: Darius and Grace
    Jewel of Atlantis: Gray and Jewel
    Animal Instincts: Naomi and Royce
    Enslave Me Sweetly: Eden and Lucius
    Oh My Goth: Jade and Clarik
    Playing With Fire: Belle and Rome
    The Nymph King: Valerian and Shaye

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  16. I love all these names!

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