Saturday, June 28, 2008

A Rose by Any Other Name...But Would You Still Want to Kiss it?

I started a new book a week or so ago. Though the plot is still quite mushy and I've only written about six pages, I'm feeling pretty good about the story. But there's something that's been driving me crazy and it wasn't until yesterday that I settled the problem in my mind. What was I going to name my characters?

I already had my hero's name, since he was introduced in a previous story, but I had to figure out who my heroine, secondary characters and villain would be. Until I knew their names, I couldn't know them...if you know what I mean.

So now that I have my character's names, I'll soon know who they are.

How about you? How difficult is it for you to name your characters? Do you put a lot of thought into it or do you just call them any old name that comes to mind?

When you're reading a book, does the character's name matter to you? If you're not sure of the pronunciation, do you care? What if it's an unusual name or one that seems off or just too common? I've had a couple of books where I ended up changing the character's name in my head so I could enjoy the book. Have you ever done that? I remember one hero's name was Harlan. I couldn't get the image of Harlan Sanders out of my mind. Another hero's name was Hal Linden and I kept seeing the TV cop Barney Miller.

What about you? Are names important to you? Or can a sigh worthy hero be named Homer, Jethro or Frankensnickel and you'll love them anyway?


JoAnn said...

I'm like you, Christy -- the names have to be "just right" for my characters. Most of the time the names present themselves to me, and most of the time they're right on target. But the heroine in the book I'm working on now started out as K.C. (For some reason, I wanted her middle name to be Clementine! Go figure.) But that became too cumbersome, so I changed it to Kaci. But that one kind of stuck in my throat every time I wrote it, so now she's Erin. She's definitely an Erin. :-)

(P.S. I love the fact that Scarlett O'Hara started out as Pansey! Good edit, Margaret! LOL!)

Christy Reece said...

Pansey definitely didn't fit!

MaryF said...

I agonize over my characters name...constantly.

Then I change them a time or two.

One of these days I'll find a great way to name a character...

As an aside Christy, I think you can make a sigh worthy Homer; you just have to be very careful....LOL