Monday, May 18, 2009
The Name Game
I used to think I put a lot of thought into my character’s names. After all, I love unusual ones and can lose a lot of time pouring over a baby book looking up the meanings. They have to make sense to me and fit the personality of the characters I’m matching them with.
But recently I’ve noticed a big problem with repeating characters names, especially with my heroine and secondary female characters. I’ve been revising old versions of stories, coupled with new versions of newer stories and discovered a fondness for certain ones.
The biggest problem: Christina, Crista, and Christa
Christina is the heroine in my current single title. For some reason, I then named the heroine of my newest category book Crista (the short and sassy version of Christina). When I went back to revise an older book, I found the heroine’s best friend’s name was Christa. Besides being confusing, in and of itself, I can’t seem to remember how I spelled it in each story. Is it spelled with an H here or not? Hmmm… I’ll have to look back and see. Oh, bother.
Secondary Characters: Jean, Jean Anne, and Jennette
I’m not really sure how this problem came about. I wouldn’t normally say that any of these names would be ones I was drawn too, but apparently it has become my place holder for secondary female characters. In 3 different stories, these have been a boss, housekeeper, and oldest sister for the hero. Yikes! Need to spread my boundaries here.
Additional problems: Stephanie and Kenzie
When I started trying to rename characters from my first book, my heroine was a girl-next-door type, so I named her Stephanie. That sounded all American, right? In a completely separate decision, I renamed her best friend Kenzie, simply because she’s a little firecracker, and that seemed to fit her. Yeah. Until I got them in a conversation together. Then all those –ie sounds started getting on my nerves. So I changed Stephanie to something completely different: Serena. A move my sister thanked me profusely for after reading for me. :)
So even though I thought myself to be a name aficionado, review of my previous choices has proved this not to be so. I’m definitely going to have to work harder at this in the future. So tell me, any favorite names? Any particular characters with names you’ve loved? Ever find yourself stuck in a rut when naming characters? Let’s play the name game today.
Join us this Wednesday, May 20, for guest blogger Pearl Wolf!