~ Call a Spade a Spade. ~ Robert Burton

By Amy Romine- AR Affiliate Author
Someone asked me today "What's the hardest part of creating a character?" Surprisingly, I knew the answer right off the bat. The hardest part for me is the names. It is honestly something I struggle with. I will change a character's name half a dozen times before I settle on the one I like. So now you ask, why does it take me six tries to come up with the name Eric or Rebecca, or even Charlie? (my most recent family of characters).

Well, to me the name is sooo important. I am not sure if this is the case for all writers but it is definitely the case for me. Especially when it comes to romance. The character names have to fit. They have to match the image in the readers mind. Yes, the depth of the characters is extremely important. However, personally, I know that if I come across a funky name I don't like, I will hesitate about reading further. I guess it is a pet peeve of mine as a reader and a writer.
If names are not correct, language will not be in accordance with the truth of things. ~ Confucius

So what is the process? How do I figure out what name I settle on? Well, first I pick two that I like. For example, Rebecca and Eric started out as Emma and Travis. I actually started writing the story with those names. I found though that as the characters developed the names didn't fit. The conversations weren't flowing for me. I went through several variations including nicknames. It was when the nickname Beccs popped up that I knew it had to be Rebecca. There is a strength about the name that is unmatched. Once I had settled on Rebecca, Eric came a little easier. His name needed to be strong but also have an easy appearance. It rolls off a conversation with relative ease and fit into the dialog perfectly.
So would a rose of any other name smell as sweet? Heck no! Not for me anyway. Think about your favorite couples...the names are not accidental by any means.

Scarlett and Rhett

Rick and Ilsa

Sam and Annie

Harry and Sally

Derek and Meredith

Paul and Holly

Joe Bradley and Princess Ann

Ben and Elaine

Robin and Marian

Arthur and Guinevere

Even Male Pairs or Female Pairs are carefully chosen

Bert and Ernie

Laverne and Shirley

Mary and Rhoda

Felix and Oscar

So the next time you are talking about your favorite characters take a minute to think about their names.

Every detail counts!


February 2011
Author in the Spotlight
Allison Pang
Visit Allison Pang's Spotlight Author Page

-- ۞۞GIVEAWAYS۞۞ --
Hardcover of Madame Tussaud and a pair of Marie Antoinette cupcake earrings from Michelle  Moran!
Allison Pang's 'A Brush of Darkness' Urban Fantasy paperback.
Sara Reinke's signed paperback of Dark Thirst
*All giveaways are open to all WORLDWIDE unless otherwise stated.
Join our Thursday Chat over at the
Yahoo Chat and Promo group!
(and claim your free e-books!)

SASSY SPECIAL: Offer entitles you to all the benefits of Audible membership during your 14 day free trial, including: a free audiobook of your choice from our range of over 50,000 titles, exclusive member discounts, access to our popular Members' Page, free gift downloads and more. If you decide that Audible isn't right for you, you can cancel at any point and keep your free audiobook.


  1. LucyPerk3:13 pm

    Amy, thanks for the new idea, that of being careful about choosing names. It never occurred to me that people actually buy or not buy a book because of the character names. For my first novel, the one I've been editing for 10 years {that's a joke, although seemingly true} Jonathan for my hero's name took hold and won't turn me loose. I'm afraid I'll have to change anything that doesn't fit him rather than change the name. Another name I had and had trouble getting rid of was Joshua Billings. Then, lo and behold, I saw a member of writing.com whose name was Joshua Billings and so I knew then I had to change it, but oh what agony to do so. Thanks again, Amy, all good ideas.

  2. It just goes to show important they are right? If a name stick, there is a a reason! LOL! Thanks for the comment, Lucy!

  3. Thank you for such an interesting post Amy! It's funny how some names we like, there will always be a reason why someone else dislikes it. For example if they knew a bully of the same name - or it is their husband's name. Yes, names are crucial for both the author and the reader. This should be a blog hop question... ;)


Thanks for taking the time to leave a sassy comment. It's truly appreciated. I aim to get back to you as soon as possible -- Sassy :)