AUTHOR BLOG HOP: Name That Character

24 Mar

Good afternoon! Today’s author blog hop question is:

Characters- Are the names of your characters in your novels important? What about the titles?

Goodness me! Yes!

Every character I write must:

  1. have a name that “fits” in with the story theme – Can’t be too posh if the girl lives in a slummy area, unless of course it’s about a girl from a good neighbourhood now living in the slums…
  2. be a name I can relate to
  3. not remind me of another character (mine or someone elses)
  4. not remind me of an old school chum or anyone I know*(There is an exception to this, which I will explain another time!)
  5. be a name that sits “right” on the tongue. As in – it’s easy to pronounce and doesn’t look odd when written down. There’s nothing worse than stopping at a name trying to work out how to say it.
  6. not start with the same letter as any of my other characters, unless of course they are very different (more syllables for example) or they are names of  “known” characters  — Greek gods for example :) What I mean is I don’t like books with lots of similar names like Carrie, Carlie, Charlie, Kerry, Keely, Kayleigh LOL You get the gist?

And if I can’t get the name “just right”

  1. I’ll get blocked and struggle to move on forward – the same goes with a title. Even if it gets changed later it must fit what I need whilst I write it.
  2. I’ll get moody and snarly and start acting like a Cahnnox. A huge, frightening creature native to Black Ice Training Ground. LOL In which case you’ll need to leave me outside and let me stomp around until I stop bellowing, calm down and behave once more.
  3. You think I’m kidding, yeah?

Yep, that's me!

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19 Responses to “AUTHOR BLOG HOP: Name That Character”

  1. Savannah Chase March 24, 2011 at 5:34 pm #

    Sometimes it takes me days to find the perfect name for a character….To me those are very important…It is their identity…

    • Angelika Devlyn March 25, 2011 at 12:34 am #

      Although, between you and me, I have a trouble with remembering names in “real life” LOL I can be talking to someone I’ve known for years and their name will vanish… never to return …

      Well, until a few mins later. But it happens. In mid flow and can be rather embarrassing! :) Imagine my trouble in thinking up names!

  2. diannehartsock March 24, 2011 at 5:57 pm #

    I’ve had to change characters’ names that were too similar in several of my stories. Not very easy to do! It took me a long time to adjust and not change their personalities to mach the new names.

    • Angelika Devlyn March 25, 2011 at 12:36 am #

      Yes, that is what I was thinking of. It’s so easy to start writing, Carly said this, Karl said that.. and then later realise we can’t have those names!

  3. Viviane Brentanos March 24, 2011 at 8:46 pm #

    I will often change my chaarcter’s name as his character grows. sometimes I just love the sound of a name on my lips. I have a wip. The hero is called Max {I hasd just seen Gladiator when I begun this} Max looks like a young Russell Crow. Russell – Gladiator – Maximus – Max. Gert it?

    Viv

  4. lprobinson64 March 24, 2011 at 9:03 pm #

    I agree. Names must sit well on the tongue, be easy to say and remember from beginning of book to end and sometimes beyond, and fit the description of the person it points to. I sure hope the names I choose do these things. Good job, Angelika.

    • Angelika Devlyn March 25, 2011 at 12:48 am #

      Thanks Lu!

      Never had a problem with the names you choose, Lu. And you know me… I’d tell ya! :D Before it’s too late, of course.

  5. Ginger Simpson March 24, 2011 at 11:09 pm #

    As I said in another post, my characters come ready to make an appearance. I haven’t had to face finding a name for one yet. I’ve been fortunate that what they call themselves fits their personality… and they usually come bearing a book title, too.

    • Angelika Devlyn March 25, 2011 at 12:50 am #

      You are blessed. So, next time I am stuck, acting like a royal pain in the arse I know where to come…

      In fact, I might even appear before I am stuck! :D

  6. Megan Johns March 24, 2011 at 11:11 pm #

    Old school chums do tend to brand names for life so we attribute their charactersitics to everybody else of that name!

    • Angelika Devlyn March 25, 2011 at 12:52 am #

      Yes, some of them have ruined some perfectly good names for me LOL

  7. roseanne dowell March 24, 2011 at 11:19 pm #

    Oh my goodness, I couldn’t have said it better myself. In my current work in progress I have a character who plays a minor roll. I accidentally gave him (or he took) a name with the same initial as my hero. I changed it. I thought I came up with a name equally as good. NOT He’s really objecting and I’m afriad I have to change it back. Great blog

    • Angelika Devlyn March 25, 2011 at 12:59 am #

      Hi Roseanne! It has happened to me before, which is why I knew to write about Carly and Charlie etc in my examples. Plus I have read some like that since. I don’t think we see it when we first write, and okay, if it fits whilst we write fair enough, but changing it half way through can be hard.

  8. D. Renee Bagby March 24, 2011 at 11:33 pm #

    I totally agree with #6. There are times I can’t get away from it, but if I can help it, I try to make every character have a different first initial. I also stay away from names that are spelled similarly.

    I sympathize with #4. I had a supervisor I hated who happened to have the same name as a heroine I had plotted years ago. I loved that name. After working with that woman, I changed it with the quickness. :P

    ~ Renee

  9. Amy R March 24, 2011 at 11:38 pm #

    A Cahnnox, is that what I turn into? LOL! This is awesome, we have a lot of the same ‘rules’. Gotta love it!!

    • Angelika Devlyn March 25, 2011 at 1:16 am #

      Two real Cahnnox on one blog! What’s the chances, huh?

      Gotta luv you! :)

      And yes the plural of Cahnnox is Cahnnox, in Angel land!

  10. Lawna Mackie March 25, 2011 at 4:31 pm #

    Liked your comment about not having a name of somebody you know! I hate to read a story if the characters have names of people I know…my mind automatically thinks of that person. That’s why I usually make up my character names :-)

  11. diannehartsock March 28, 2011 at 6:05 am #

    Sometimes it takes me weeks of trying out different names to find the one that fits certain characters. And I’m usually stuck in my writing until I name them!

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