One of my favorite parts of starting a new project is naming my characters. You’d think I’d have gotten enough of that with five kids, but I found naming my children to be a bit more excruciating. Because of course I was full of great ideas and my husband nixed them all. We didn’t set out to name all four sons with names beginning with J…they were the only ones we could agree on!
So I take my time when it comes to hanging a name on my hero and heroine. It has to fit, exactly. Not just the mental image I have in my mind of the character, but their personality. And I can get ideas for names from all sorts of places. I’ve been known to scour football rosters for new cool names for my heroes.
Male names that end in a hard sound, like T or K sound more alpha…Luke, Cort, Jake. If I choose a first name that ends in a soft sound, I’ll deliberately choose a last name that has a hard sound in it…for example, Dace Recker, one of my SWAT heroes. I loved that name and actually lifted Dace from a football roster. A reader mentioned that he sounded like a male stripper :). I suppose the two aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive!
When it comes to naming the heroine, I spend a lot of time thinking about her traits and attitude. Sophie brings to mind a completely different sort of woman than Ramsey does. Ramsey is a female warrior; Sophie is softer, more feminine. Sometimes I choose a name based on the nickname I like. We settled on Alison for our daughter mainly because I wanted to call her Ali.
There are names that no teacher in his/her right mind would ever choose for their child because a it belonged to a…AHEM…unforgettable student. Certain names appear much more frequently on the class list in behavior classrooms, believe it or not. It’s as if the name itself preordains the child’s school success!
I love the names my kids have come up so far for *their* kids. So far we have a Rylan, Kasen, Keaden, Kinley and Harper :). And they haven’t even needed Gamma’s help!
How did you come up with your kids’ names? Are there names that have negative connotations for you? Any character names that just didn’t fit the story people you were reading about?