I hate naming characters. For some writers, this is the fun part. The part where they spend hours on baby name sites, researching names with meanings that fit their characters. I love research, but this process is agonizing. When I begin a story, I don’t really know who my character is going to be. I have an idea, but I’m not really acquainted with them yet. It seems rude to assume I know enough in Chapter One to create a name that suits them through and through.
Few of my characters begin with the name they end up with. Most of my female characters are born Kate, Emily, Emma, or some derivation of these names. The male characters are Jack or one of my male relatives’ names. For last names, I pick up a magazine and let my finger land on a name. I’ve also been known to use one of my mother’s married names. Seriously, it’s a running joke with my readers who pick up on this.
As I delve into my characters’ psyches, a name will sometimes come to me. Most times, though, I describe the people in my head to friends and family, and they come up with the names. Lucky for me, my sister gets a kick out of this.
My current work, TOUCHED, is no different. Only Gabriel and Lucy started off with their original names and kept them.
- Remy (heroine) – Remy is strong and this name sounds strong to me. Her name popped into my head when I was about 30 pages in and it stuck. Imagine my pleasant surprise when I found out that one of the meanings is “remedy,” which is perfect since she is a healer.
- Asher (hero) – I wanted a name that was masculine, fit the time he was born, and a little different. I went through Nicholas (too ordinary) and Lucien (too dark). Nothing fit him. My sister is the one who came up with this name, and I loved it as soon as she said. It means “happy” or “blessed,” which fits since Remy reintroduces happiness to his life.
- Gabriel (Asher’s brother) – Gabe is dark and not a little dangerous. I loved the whole angelic spin with the name Gabriel, which means “God is my Strength.”
- Charlotte (Asher’s sister) – Lottie is small and pretty, and I wanted an old-fashioned name with a shortened nickname. Charlotte means “petite beauty.” Need I say more?
- Lucy (Remy’s sister) – Lucy is my aunt’s name, and probably why I used it initially. But when I looked up the meaning of “light” it worked since Lucy is the sister Remy never knew she wished she had.
Do you love or hate naming your characters?