After reading Paeony Lewis’s blog post last week on character names, it had me wondering...how 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?