Thursday, June 21, 2012

This Writer's Wish List

I know, I've blogged about this before, but one of the hardest things for me as a writer is naming my characters. One of the perks of writing a series is that the main characters names stay the same throughout the novels. I am just terrible at coming up with names.

One time I came up with the perfect name for one of the women in the last book I was working on. Loved the name, totally invested in it and then, I was watching a rerun of an old TV show and there was the name I was using! It was a main character in a former TV show I used to watch! No wonder I loved it. Had to find another name for her. So sad.

My wish list? I would love to have a magic hat I could reach into and pull out the perfect name for the character I'm writing about at the moment. That would be so great! But since that' s not likely to happen I go through all kinds of shenanigans to get my character names.

I have posted here on this blog asking for help, posted on facebook and twitter. I put out an all call to my facebook friends asking if they'd give me permission to use their names in a book, which they did. That worked really well.

I've gotten programs from graduations and used the names in them, gone through phone books, read through the credits of movies and television shows looking for interesting names to use. I pester my kids and my husband to give me names.

Titles of books seem to come easily to me, so I'm not sure why names are so difficult. I didn't have this kind of problem naming my children or pets. So what's up?

If you know where I can find my magic hat, drop me a line. Or if you have some names to pass on please! I'm five chapters into the new Maeve and Kate mystery and once again .... Where'd that hat go anyway??

1 comment:

  1. Here's some things I use. I eliminate names that can easily have nicknames, so I don't have a character who will be called Charles, Charley, Chas, by different characters in the novel. I try to use one sylable and two sylable names for first names and of course avoid having characters who start with the same letter, sometimes confusing to a reader if you have a Jessica, a Jenny. Then find a baby name website and click away.