Thursday, August 19, 2010

What's in a Name?

Character names are so important, yet at times so difficult to come up with. For my first book, the name of my heroine just popped into my head one day: Sharlie Montgomery. My sister actually came up with my hero (and I credit her in my dedication): Logan Reed. In that first book I had some secondary characters who would one day have books of their own. I named these guys Zach and Jake. There was also a character named Pete. I really didn't think anything of those names at first, until my editor (the fabulous Kat O'Shea) pointed out that the three names were similar in form. Four letters, many of the same letter formations. By that time, it was too late to change them. Zach and Jake had already (in my mind) become characters in their own right. There was no way I could change them midstream.

However, because of her comment, I have become even more aware of not only the importance of naming the hero and heroine, but of how their names fit together and work work the names of even minor characters.

Most of the time, once I find a name, I stick with it. Of course finding a name isn't always easy. I use an on-line baby naming list when I'm really stuck. I'll ask my hubby or friends what they think. I did change the name of one of my heroes during a rewrite of one of my manuscripts. The original name just wasn't working for me, and I eventually came up with one which worked much better. I've changed the name of minor characters from time to time, too.

Right now, I'm stuck on my current heroine's name. I named her Alyson. I wanted the hero to be able to call her by a nickname (Aly), but the name just isn't doing it for me. I have a host of secondary characters that have been established in other books, so I'm having a hard time coming up with a name for her. I've started the book using Alyson, but I really want to come up with something better before I get too far into it to change her.

Just for are my character pairings.

This Time for Always - Sharlie Montgomery and Logan Reed
Wild Wedding Weekend - Abby Walker and Noah Grant
This Can't Be Love - Jessica Hart and Zach Rawlings
Mistletoe and Folly - Mia Preston and Ethan Chase
Family Secrets* - Erika Garret and Chase Stewart
This Feels Like Home* - Alyson Winfield and Jake Hawkins
Rosewood* - Ellie(?) and Jeremiah Reynolds

*denotes a work in progress

So, there you hve it...any thoughts?

Until next time,

Happy Reading!



  1. I too can't let go of a name once I start writing.

    If for some reason I HAVE to change the name, I try to stick with the same letter and sound.

  2. Try Allyson with double L, and Ally rather than Aly, or Alison and Ali (as in Ali McGraw?).

  3. Same letter is a good idea. Good idea with the double L, too. Thanks ladies!

  4. Ooh, I like Bishop. (Although I think she actually does have a last name, which for the life of me I can't's been forever since I looked at that mss...and I didn't have the document here with me at work.)