Hello! Lindi here! So, a little story back from when I first started writing oh so many years ago. This may not be true of all authors, but it was for me.
Me Back Then: Change my heroines name? No way! If an editor can’t see how her name is a part of the story, well, then they certainly DON”T understand my story! I”ll wait to find an editor who understands me and my story.
Me A Few Years Later: What? You don’t like my heroine’s name? What do you want it to be? I can change it to whatever you think works best.
These were strictly my thoughts. I’ve never had an editor ask me to change a name. And yes, these are both extreme, but seriously, the names of our characters run the gamut of emotions. I have a heroine named Shelby in my book Rich in Faith. Her name was extremely important to the story. I’ve had other names that I could change and it wouldn’t affect the book in any way.
Tha naming of my characters is important to me though. It’s like a “feeling’ I get when I know the name is right. I used to try for unusual names that weren’t so unusual they would stop the reader. But more recently I’ve drifted to more traditional names. My heroine’s name now is Nicole.
I often look up popular names for the year my characters were born—see what was happening in the naming world at that time. I also look at meanings of names. I named my daughter, Brenna. It means girl with black or raven hair. I have naturally dark brown hair and so did her father. She has blondish brown hair? How did that happen?
Some people go with family names. Lindi is my nickname. My real name is Belinda. My mother’s middle name is Belinda, and my grandmother’s name is Belinda. So, yeah, that’s a family name. I didn’t not carry that tradition on with my daughter. I was young when I had her and I didn’t really think about it. I wish now that I had, although Brenna Belinda doesn’t sound that amazing. Who knows what her first name would have been had I been more family name conscious.
I’ve only been talking so far about first names. Last names are a process as well. Also, having the right sounding name is important to me. I can get caught up in my characters name for quite a while. There have been stories I’ve changed the hero/heroine’s name more than once.
Whether we’re readers or writers, we all have probably named something in our lives. Our little ones, our pets, some people name their cars, or other inanimate objects.
What are your processes? Like I said above, I named my daughter thinking the meaning would suit her looks. Nope. I let my husband name our son—Alexander–I love that name! There’s no family meaning or any personal meaning associated with his name. His name does mean ‘Defender of Men.’ I do love that!
I’d love to hear if you name things like cars. Or how you decide on names for pets, children or anything. I’ll pick one comment to win a print copy of my book, Rich in Faith. You’ll see how her name is integral to the story.