CHRISTINA DODD ASKS FOR HELP NAMING CHARACTERS

The current bane of my existence is … Drum roll, please!

Naming characters.

Sure, you’ve done it. You named your kids or your pets. You know how important this is. You worry about it, argue about it and finally come up with the perfect name. But to date I’ve written 57 published books. I’ve named literally hundreds, maybe thousands of people. I’m constantly naming heroes (must sound manly) and heroines (feminine and distinctive) and secondary characters (should reflect their personality.) And don’t forget, the reader must be able to pronounce the names!

I’ll start a book in a mad fervor when I’m jerked to a halt by a character who requires some kind of moniker, something beyond the ever-popular INSERT NAME HERE. So I go to my trusty baby name book and start the slow torturous trek through the letters. J … J is good for a hero, it’s has a strong sound. How about Jagger, that sounds manly. No, wait, I don’t want to remind the reader of Mick and his lips. Jenkins … Jenkins sounds like the butler. (Note to self: save for butler.) Jensen … gads, no, Scott’s cousins by marriage are Jensens and I don’t want to start anything with the relatives.

So finally I find a great name and what happens? It rhymes with another of the names in the manuscript. Or names are two similar (Alan and Alanna, anybody?) Or I realize I’ve used the name before. In BECAUSE I’M WATCHING, the hero was named Samuel until I realized I had recently used Samuel. When I finished the book, I used a universal word search to make the change, and now I live in fear that when I speak of Jacob, I’ll use the wrong name.

When I wrote the novella WILD TEXAS ROSE, I named the heroine Rose and the hero Thornton. I got to page 80 before I realized what I’d done; at that point one of my kids asked incredulously, “Mom, are you really naming them Rose and Thorn?”

One great thing about social media is that I can ask the readers for input. They always come through. On Facebook, a recent appeal for a dog’s name (large black and brown stray mutt, steals the heroine’s banana bread), netted me over 1000 responses!

In the past when I was too lazy — er, I mean too involved in my prose — to get the baby name book … My first book, CANDLE IN THE WINDOW, was a medieval, and the heroine was Saura of Roget. Saura, okay, that sounds medieval. But you know, you know, how I came up with Roget, don’t you? I glanced around my office, and … Well, let’s put it this way. To this day, author and friend Susan Sizemore teases me about naming a character after my thesaurus.

Want more writing tidbits?
The Best Way to Write a Book (it’s the only way.)
Brief and Random Writing Tips
Where Do You Get Your Ideas?
Friends, Enemies and Writing

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17 thoughts on “CHRISTINA DODD ASKS FOR HELP NAMING CHARACTERS”

  1. 能让人来访的乐此不疲,这里就是有那么大的魅力!

  2. 沃八达 says:

    人生短暂,开心每一天!

  3. 沃八达 says:

    每逢佳节倍思亲,看你博客很用心!

  4. 尚吾康网 says:

    博客不错,大爱哦!

  5. 博客不少,这里独好!

    丁酉年(鸡)八月廿五 2017-10-14

  6. 健康 says:

    仔细拜读,充实自己,感激。

  7. 套图网 says:

    阅读博客获得的进步不亚于阅读一本书。

  8. 套图网 says:

    不止一次的来,不止一次的去,来来去去,这就是这个博客的魅力!

  9. 健康网 says:

    学海无涯,博客有道!拜读咯!

  10. 丁酉年(鸡)九月初九 2017-10-28到此一游!

  11. 潜心学习,认真拜读!

  12. 创业网 says:

    冬天虽已来临,祝您四季如春!

  13. 小吃技术 says:

    一天不来访,浑身上下痒!

  14. 健康网 says:

    山高路远,好人平安!

  15. 中医秘方 says:

    一言不发岂能证明我来过了?!

  16. 中青看点 says:

    这样精彩的博客越来越少咯!

  17. 促美优品 says:

    这样的博客让人禁不住一天来几次!

Comments are closed.