What’s in a Name? (Naming characters)
Hi! Thank you so much for having me on the blog. I’m thrilled to be sharing insight on how I named my characters in the Effortless With You series!
Naming my characters is very important to me. I put a lot of time and effort into it. I’m around the “naming” process all the time as a neonatal intensive care nurse. One of my favorite moments is when a parent whispers their child’s name to them for the first time. Or helping them choose their names as they look at their little baby through the isolette. The moment the name is settled, it’s magical. I can honestly feel a shift in the air.
The little life that I cradle in my hands just became a Robert Henry. How cool is that? The same thing happens when characters of a novel are named. Here are the five steps I generally take when naming a character:
1. Choose the Vibe. Do you want it to be a modern name? An eclectic name? A classic name?
2. Hit up baby naming lists and blogs. Look at what’s popular now and up to ten years prior. This is important to me as I absolutely want to connect with my audience, which are readers ages 13+ (we are all young adults at heart, aren’t we.
3. Run said names against your own name prejudices you picked up from your schooling years. Noah is always a name I try to seriously consider for a main love interest but I can’t make the leap— not after playing cello in front of the most boogery Noah on earth for eight years. That’s right. EIGHT YEARS OF BOOGERS. Yuck.
4. Take the name and run it by people that are dear to you. This is key when I choose my guy names. I’ll tell my friends, “okay, this guy is supposed to be that frat-boy you hate.” Together we’ll play with my top names, perhaps tweak spelling and do whatever it takes to find a way to portray just that.
5. When it comes down to it, naming characters is like naming a baby. So what does that mean? Just name them what feels right once you meet them. ☺ Sometimes you actually have to start writing your characters before their name materializes. I’ve actually changed names out a few chapters in once I realized that my Tripp was actually a Beckett, etc. So how did this add up to finding Lucy and Justin for Effortless With You and Perfectly Messy? I named my characters the summer of 2010. I knew I wanted my female lead to be strong, a bit of a spitfire, but incredibly kind. At the time, I’d recently moved into a townhome association and was fascinated with this ninety three year old woman who lived across the courtyard named Lucy. This woman was up at dawn and went to bed past midnight. I don’t think a week went by where she wasn’t throwing a party for all the ladies on the block. Lucy was that type of person who made you feel like you were the most important person on Earth when she spoke to you. She was that amazing.
So, Lucy became my female lead. And Justin? Well … I did all the baby name searches but when it came down to it, I had a small dose of Bieber Fever (please remember that this is 2010).
So, naturally, I named the love interest in my romance Justin. Thankfully, once I started writing, my Justin strayed far away from being even close to Bieber-ish.
Source Credit Pinterest and http://blogss4fun7437.blogspot.com%5B/caption%5D
What are your favorite character names? Can you imagine what Twilight would be like if Edward was actually named Todd or Eustice? See, names count! Thanks so much for having me on the blog!
Interested in Lizzy Charles’ novels Effortless With You and Perfectly Messy? They are available on Amazon, Nook, iBooks, and most ebook readers. Prefer a book you can actually hold in your hand and smell? Both novels are available in print via Amazon and available to order through many local bookstores if you ask. 🙂
Want to know more about the books?
Published by: Swoon Romance
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Synopsis book 1 – Effortless WIth You:
For Lucy, junior year is everything she hoped it would be: new friends, second chances, and a boyfriend she can’t stop kissing. That is, until the boy she’s pretty sure she loves chooses the life his family wants for him, over her.
Now it’s up to Lucy to teach him what it really means to have everything. Because for Justin, being who everyone needs him to be just might cost him the one person he can’t live without