Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Name changes

I’ve recently come to the conclusion that one of my main characters needs her name changed, due to certain recent events in the news. She’s already had her last name changed due to its similarity to the last name of a teen film star, and several of my other characters have had their names changed for various reasons, including similarity to other characters and being the wrong gender.

I try to pick names that aren’t too common, so you don’t associate them with people or things you know. On the other hand, a name should also be normal enough that you don’t stumble over reading it.

Actually, I’ve broken that second rule a few times.

We’ll ignore that.

The problem with semi-common names, however, is that if something big does happen, that name is going to be associated with the event or the person and not with my character. I don’t want people to think of other things when they read my story, unless I’ve named a character specifically for that purpose. Search and Replace, here I come.

I think I mentioned a few weeks back that I keep running into people who have the same names as my characters, after I’ve named my characters. This is probably just my brain jumping on links and ignoring all the other characters that don’t have coincidental names, but I can’t help wondering if there’s something more than coincidence going on. What? I dunno. That’s as far as I’ve got.

Some of you probably know which character I’m talking about. Any suggestions for names? (Oh! And Scrivener has a built-in name dictionary! I’m not sure if this is makes up for the lack of a ‘synonyms’ button... I really like my synonyms button).


  1. For some reason the name 'Lou-Ellen' sprang unbidden to my mind.
    Please don't pick that lol.

    I love JK Rowling's names etymology - 'Severus', 'Lupus', 'Minerva' all sound right but also have underlying meanings that are relevant too. Maybe you could select some key character traits and see if any of them translate into usable names in Greek or Spanish or Chinese or Ye Olde Englishe or something...?

  2. LOU-ELLEN? lol okay I won't pick that. Hmmm yes that might be a good idea - it's nice to have hidden meanings and easter eggs in names. I think I shall be trawling baby-name websites...


what do you think?