Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Discussion: How Do You Choose Character Names?

How do you choose character names?


Names are super important to me. The wrong one can change who a character is. The right one can mean everything. So how do I choose what to name my character? The truth's different every time. With The Walker Boys series, I gave each of the brothers names of characters I'd written about in a galaxy far far away a long time ago, when I was just starting to write. For the girls, I went through lists, tried different names, and ultimately I just had to go with the ones that complimented their guys, AND fit, in some organic way, the heroine I wanted to write about for each book. 

For ONE SONG AWAY...I just really wanted to use the names Sophie-Claire and Jake. :D 


Years ago, I went through a baby name book and wrote down a bunch of my favorites--for main characters and for side characters. I'll usually sneak a peek at it when I have a new story idea because I like to have names picked out before I start writing. With If Only We, I don't even remember how I picked Adrienne--it wasn't on my list at all! For Chevy, I put the blame on Chevy Chase. I hadn't seen the name used before, so I thought I'd go the unique route. In Not Until Tonight, I always liked the name Haley and had to use it. The name Skylar was chosen after seeing it on a name tag of a cashier at the grocery store--no joke! I was like, "Aw, that would make a cute name for a guy in a book!" The other names for side characters were just picked out of a hat... or maybe I flipped to a page in the baby book, closed my eyes, and pointed to a name. Lol.


In Here All Along, there's Hazel and Adrian. I picked Hazel because I adore that name; Adrian I'm not sure why it appealed to me, but it just clicked. For the Resist series, I had promised my best friend (after going off on all the books with love interests named Devlin) that I would name the love interest Devlin. So I did. And Allegra--there's just something about that name that's so freeing and beautiful. I had to use it. When it came to More Than Words, it took me awhile to pick their names. I came up with several options, and then the name Dana Darling hit me like a ton of bricks and I couldn't ignore it. Landon Sinclair... that one I have no clue what sparked it. Then there's my next book, Unexpected. I chose Ryan because of Ryan on The OC; and Alina has always been such a beautiful name to me.

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