March 24, 2011
Characters- Are the names of your characters in your novels important? What about the titles?
So, this post will be a quickie one, off the top of my head.
I don't do a lot of plotting when I write books. I don't always spend a lot of time thinking of names either. For one story, I asked my 20-year-old daughter to name the characters - Conner and Layla. I like the name David and actually have two heroes named that, in a historical and in a contemporary. In another story, I named the character in honor of a friend, who then back-stabbed me. Thankfully, the story wasn't published yet and I was able to change the heroine's name. She didn't seem to mind and I think the new name fit her better anyway. It certainly suited me better!
The way I find names for those walk-on or secondary characters is to look at books on my shelves, who wrote them, not necessarily names in the book. I've also looked in the phone book. So, I create names about the same way I write, by the seat of my pants.
I have run into problems with family names. I have a nephew named Daniel. And there's an brother-in-law and ex-son-in-law named Robert. Then there's my husband's family name, James (brother-in-law, father-in-law and nephew). How can I use these names in a romance novel????
Oh, just thought of this. One of my daughters is actually named after one of my characters. Well, not really, but when I was pregnant and we discovered it was a girl, my husband and I couldn't agree on a name. Finally I said, "I used the name Holly in a story. I like it." So did he.
As for titles. I think the are important in that they should peak the interest of the read. But I personally suck at titles most of the time. I did come up with Salvation Bride and A Gift Beyond All Measure.
Anna Kathryn Lanier