Naming Your Characters

Day 14: #atozchallenge

When William Shakespeare’s Juliet discovered Romeo bore the name of her enemy, she asked:

NameWordle“What’s in a name?
That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”

 I  respectfully disagree with Juliet. To me, a rose is a rose, is a rose, and I venture to say others feel the same. To call a rose by any another name would be nonsense.

We all have certain mindsets when it comes to names. For example, Billy Bob denotes an image far different than the name Randolph. Naming a child, Elizabeth Marie Kennedy Thornton (fictitious) makes us think privileged.

Names conjure memories both good and bad. Ever time I hear the name Gene I am once again in the 5th grade. Our brothers, sisters, or distance cousins all provide us a mental picture of a person. It’s from life experiences and the individuals that cross our paths in which we draw inspiration for naming the characters in our stories.

Important Points to Remember:

  • Match the name to the character’s personality. Channing is not likely to make readers think of a shy introvert.
  • Don’t get stuck on a letter. Sure it might be easier, but Carol, Cait, and Cami will make the readers head spin trying to tell the characters apart.
  • Assigning cute or unusual names is tricky. When done, the character’s personality must fit the name like a glove. The name, Apple, however, popular in Hollywood, is never going to make me think of anything other than a red delicious.
  • Tread carefully when naming a character based on someone you know. Get too close to the real thing and you might just have a family member on your back.

Helpful Resources for Naming Characters:

It isn’t always easy to come up with the right name, or one we think fits the character, but there are resources.

Naming characters can be fun or frustrating but don’t let it get in the way of telling your story. You can change names anytime, just write the story.

How do you choose the names of your characters?

I’d love to hear your comments. Talk to me. Tell me your story and look for me on Facebook at SheilaMGood,  PinterestBloglovinTwitter@sheilagood, and Contently.

Lost Memories

100 Word Challenge

 100 Word Challenge for grown ups – Week #159. The prompt this week:    …I need to remember…

The young woman  leaned in, “I’m so happy to meet you Mrs. Ridge,” she said, wrapping her soft, elegant hands around mine.

A light, floral scent followed her every move, reminding me of someone.  Anxiety niggled at the back of my mind. I  searched her lovely face for a hint. “My pleasure dear.”  …I need to remember.  “What was your name, again?”

She pulled her chair closer. “Most my friends call me Taffy.”

suedhang/Cultura/Getty Images

“How cute, nickname?”

“Yeah, since high school.”

“Did I know your mother?”

“Yes, very well,” she said, voice cracking. “Shall I tell you about her?”