Wednesday, February 15, 2012

What's In a Name?

I'm bad with names. This apparently carries over into my characters too. For the last couple days, I've been trying to get a name to stick for the hero of the novella I'm writing. I gave him a name - Justin - then realized I had not-so-heroic spineless weasel associations with the name and switched it to Nathan (in honor of Nathan Fillion) only to realize, after waaaaay too long a brain freeze, that I already HAD a Nathan. Or at least a Nate. My Special Agent from The Naked Detective.

THIS is the problem with writing a bunch of books, you guys. You use up all the good names! And then you forget you used them and try to use them again and then feel like a total idiot for not remembering the name of a guy YOU INVENTED. Yep, I am that idiot.

How do people who've written fifty or sixty books keep coming up with names? I know there are a gazillion options out there, but you don't want to use the names of people super close to you (at least I don't) because then they will think that you are writing ABOUT them and it will get all weird. So there's this whole list of names you can't really use... and then I stupidly forget about the names I've already used.

I need a list! A list of my character names. Someplace where I can't lose it... like here! Okay, this is about to get boring. Feel free to skip down to the comments and suggest a sexy non-Justin, non-Nathan name I can use for my hero. Ready, go!

And in the mean time, I'll be listing my characters. Let's see if I can do this from memory...

Ghost Shrink: Lucy, Jake (also: the Larrinator, Elliot)
Ghost Exterminator: Jo, Wyatt
The Sexorcist: Brittany, Luis (aka Rodriguez)
The Naked Detective: Ciara, Nate
A Cop & A Feel: Ronna, Matt
Serengeti Heat: Landon, Ava
Serengeti Storm: Caleb, Shana
Serengeti Lightning: Michael, Mara
Serengeti Sunrise: Tyler, Zoe
No Angel: Sasha, Jay
Reawakening Eden: Eden, Connor
Ghosts of Boyfriends Past: Biz, Mark
Superlovin': Darla, Lucien

And then there are the ones that aren't out yet:
Finder's Keeper: Mia, Chase
Naughty Karma: Karma, Prometheus
Spinning Gold: Juliana, Rue
Superbad: Mirabelle, the character formerly known as Justin

And the old drafts that may never make it to the public unless I get off my butt and revise them:
Easy Money: Naomi, Berint, Stephanie, Rich
Picket Fences: Ricki, crap crap crap. I can't remember the others. The hero might have been named Zach? Yes! Ha! Zach! And the side-kick girls were Chrissy and Bella and Autumn! Double ha!
MMP: oh crud. Um... the guy was a doctor... and I think the girl was Kate? No, wait, I know this... I'm not going to resort to looking it up. Not gonna... Okay, yes, I am. Aaaand, I was totally wrong. She's Lou and he's Jack. Dammit.

I give up. (That was way harder than it should have been.)

What do you think? Should I name him Malcolm or Eston or something else entirely? Mal being the total Firefly nod & if you're wondering where Eston came from, it was in a baby name book as a variant of Justin - which is still kinda perfect for a guy nicknamed "Captain Justice." Hell, maybe his name is Captain. Or Kirk. William? Patrick? Stewart? Jean Luc might be pushing it.

Thoughts?

1 comment:

Kali Robaina said...

Honestly, as long as your heroes aren't in the same series, I don't our think it matters if they have a similar name as one of your other heroes. Especially when you think back to school and count up how many kids named Brian, Megan, Kristen, and John were in your class.
Same name not such a good idea...but Nate is not the same as Nathan.