Friday, April 13, 2007
On Writing ~ What's in a Name?
Hubby and I were having a convo about marketing recently and he suggested I run a contest and the winner's name becomes that of the hero/heroine in my next book.
No, I said too quickly. A secondary character maybe, but a main character, no way.
But, says he, it would be a far more attractive prize to have your name attached to the mains (or something to that effect...)
Absolutely not! Won't happen. A main character's name is far too important to the story. What if it doesn't fit?
He couldn't understand this - Your a writer... It's all imagination anyway, was his argument.
I insisted this was a ridiculous notion because I don't name my main characters, they name themselves!
I wasn't exaggerating. My characters are alive in my head. They have names of their own, voices of their own and to change their names would betray them as characters. I didn't name Ellis, the heroine in Destiny by Design. To be honest, I don't even really like the name. Especially for a girl. But that was her name, it suits her personality and try as I might (and I did!), no other name would do her justice. I did give her a last name, Strathmore, and I'm not sure I nailed it. I should have gone with my gut and gave her a good ethnic sounding name.
Meanwhile, the villainess, Cynthia Travers, named herself as well. I felt kind of bad about this because I have a cousin named Cindy and she's a charming, lovely woman. Aw hell, let's be honest here... I have issues with her going back to her perfect, shiny childhood.
Oh, shit! Did I write that out loud?
I've had a novel wip kicking around for years (and I do mean YEARS). One of my nastier characters is called David. This poses a wee problem in that my brother-in-law is named David, but I'd never want him or anyone else to think that my bad guy is based on my him. Get me? Cause he's soooo not. My David has lived in my head far longer than the sil-bil marriage.
But the fact that my dear bil is a bit of a tool doesn't help, either.
Oops, there I go again!
My question for fellow writers: Does anyone get this or are y'all backing slowly away from your computer. Before you delete me from your blogroll, please tell me -- do your characters name themselves, too? Do you just pick them based on what's-hot-at-the-moment-as-long-as-its-not-Britney-or-Paris?
Amy Ruttan, are any of your heroes named Gerard, by any chance :) ??
Susan, how do you know a good rock-star name when you hear one? Does it have to sound modern or radical, or can a rockin' drummer be named Walter?
Come on y'all -- spill your secrets for coming up with perfect names...
PS *** Am I violating copyright laws by posting that comic? I found it floating on the web...***