Thursday, February 16, 2012

Name Game

After reading Paeony Lewis’s blog post last week on character names, it had me did I come up with mine?

Naturally, I use family names.

Crosswire: Jesse Wade - Wade was my mother’s maiden name.

Hidden: Eugene - My grandfather and older brother’s name.

Fortune Tellers Club: Gena - I can’t count all the Genas in my family.

 There’s probably one family member in all of my books.

And I discovered something about myself while researching this post. I’m a J name maniac. My J characters: Juniper, Jake, Janene and Jesse.  

I don't know if there are any hard and fast rules to naming characters, but one important thing I learned from my stand up comedy days is hard consonants are funny. Buick instead of Chevy, for instance.

Think about it. What if Garfield was Gerald? Or Bart Simpson was Benny?

I also think hard consonants are playful and kid-friendly. My playful character names include Cocoa, Dandy (Daniel Dee), Buck and Buddy Bunion.

And I've noticed odd character names seem to stick. Ever wonder what those classic authors were thinking when they wrote characters named Scout, Holden, Gatsby and Rhett? There's probably a whole college course based on that.

Then there's the genre name game - naming your character to suit the genre. Which genres comes to mind with each of these?


(I'll reveal my answers in the comment section later. I want to hear yours first.)
So what about it, y'all? What led you to pick your characters' names?


  1. Hi
    I like the topic today. well I Always collect strange names, unusual sound and then name my characters from my collection.
    I feel Sane fr Picture book and MG
    Aurora for paranormal YA mystery
    Pierce for some Sci-fic
    Lilia for MG and historic fic
    Lucien for some fantasy fic
    I would like to hear your thoughts.

  2. Hello, Dotti! I'm always intrigued by names and hadn't thought about hard consonants.
    Hmmm... not sure about the genres, but this would be my pick:
    Shane: something Western, or a mischievous boy in a mid grade.
    Aurora: fantasy
    Pierce and Lilia are both names I'm not familiar with and therefore I'd say American YA (not British).
    Lucien: historical or supernatural romance. Though I also think Lucien could be a good dog name, or a snooty cat.
    By the way, I adore that there are even lists of pet names online, categorised by popularity. Plus the popularity of baby names by country, region and decade.
    I see that in 2011 in the US, for girls it was No. 1 Isabella, No.2 Sophia, and for US boys, 1. Jacob, 2. Ethan. Whilst in Britain it was 1. Lily, 2. Emily and 1. Oliver, 2. Jack.
    I could go on forever. I'll shut up!

  3. Haha, Paeony, you and I agree a couple of the names. Here is what I think.

    Shane - western
    Aurora - fantasy
    Pierce - literary
    Lilia - historical
    Lucien - horror