Monday, October 8, 2012
Blog Chain - What's in a Name?
Our blog chain is rolling again! I've missed it :D We have a bit of a different format now - each chain will run for 2 weeks, Mon-Fri and I will be posting the 2nd and 4th Mondays of every month :) Our first topic was chosen by Kate who wants to know:
What's in a name? What if Harry Potter had been Larry Snotter? What if Edward was Jacob and Jacob was Edward? What favorite books had character names that you loved or hated? And how do you come up with your own character names?
I think a character's name can make or break a book. But it depends on the book. Some books are just amazing no matter what the characters' names. There are books I haven't wanted to read because the characters' names seemed so ridiculous. Hunger Games, for instance. A girl named Katniss? A sister named Prim? Boys named Peeta and Gale? Ugh.
And then I read the books. And I can't imagine them being named anything else. The names fit. They worked. The story transcended the names and made me love them.
Then there are the Sookie Stackhouse books. Don't get me wrong. I LOVE this series. It's one of my all time favorites, I've read the entire series (of 12 books and counting) numerous times, and if Eric the vampire ever knocks on my door, he is more than welcome to my neck ;) (I like his name, btw).
But every single time I see the name Sookie, I cringe. Bill the vampire made me cringe too, but it fits him in a way. It's a horrible vampire name. But then, Bill is a horrible vampire. But Sookie....I just can't used to that one. For me, the thought of "really? Sookie?" is always in the back of my mind, making every scene, no matter how terrifying, passionate, or intense, just slightly "less" because...well really....Sookie? *cringe*
For my own stories, I usually try very hard to choose the absolute perfect names for my characters. I want them to mean something. Sometimes a name will just pop into my head, sometimes I'll see it or hear it somewhere else and fall in love. I spend a lot of time with baby books and on naming websites to find the right name with the right meanings.
Interesting fact, I'm generally not that attached to my character names, except for my main heroines' names. I'll change any name in the book, but not that one.
The MC in my upcoming novel Treasured Lies is named Minuette (she goes by Min). It fits her so perfectly. I really can't imagine her with any other name. She started out as Noelle. Soooo isn't her. I heard the name Minuette (with Min as a nickname) on a Star Trek NG episode :D It stuck in my head and when I was searching for a more fitting name, it just clicked.
Min's best friend Charlotte went through two other names before she got her name. I love her name now but really, if my editor asked me to change it, I could without too much flinching. But not Min :)
For one of my WIPs, I needed an Egyptian or Arabic name, something that was short, easy to pronounce, cool enough it would fit in a modern setting but would still work in a historical setting as well (it's a complicated storyline lol). I found the name Kesi and instantly fell in love. It's absolutely perfect. Short, sassy, and beautiful. Just like the character it was meant for. And when I saw the name meant "born of a troubled father" it became even more perfect. :)
What about you? What books had names you loved or hated? Are there stories that were made or ruined because of a character's name for you? If you are a writer, how do you choose your character names?
Be sure to check out Lisa's post from Friday and Alyson who will post tomorrow! :)