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!
Author in the SpotlightAllison Pang
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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
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