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Name Quandries

Naming--whether it's titles or characters or places--is a difficult thing, as evidenced by my own experience and my Friends list (just in the past couple weeks, sarah_prineas, ravelda, and watchmebe have all posted about names). Especially when you get used to a name, and then you have to change it.

I've done it several times. With GIVING UP THE GHOST, I originally named the high school Richler, but I thought that had too much in common with my actual high school (Riverdale), and since one is not actually based on the other, I decided to change it to something completely different (Frazer). Thankfully I was not married to the name in the first place--it was more of a place holder. I also changed a few last names: Cass McKay sounded too pat, so she became Cass McKenna, for instance.

With THE HALFWAY HERO, the names have changed a lot, because five years ago when I first started thinking about it, it was set in a British-esque society. I was able to keep my main characters pretty much the same (Jared --> Jarad, Cecily --> Sesili) but the character formerly known as Brant is now Deniz. What I found trickiest was finding names that were somewhat foreign sounding and fitting with the cultures I'm playing with, while still looking pronounceable and feeling a little familiar.

Now, as I'm finishing up this rewrite of POSSESSING LUCY, I'm having to make some changes I find particularly hard, because I somehow managed to miss things the first few times I went through the novel. One secondary character shared a name with a secondary character in GUTG (I managed not to realize this until this draft because the characters are so different in personality, and also because it's [name] in GUTG but Officer [name] in PL). So I fixed that. Then my writer's group pointed out to me that my main character and her romantic interest's names may have connotations I'd rather avoid. Lucy and Rick... I LOVE LUCY... Yeah. Somehow that never occurred to me. :P

Lucy is staying Lucy, of course. She has always been Lucy, and she's in the title, after all. But Rick... He's been Rick for a long time. I like the name. I like the way it fits with his sister's (Roz and Rick--they're nicknames for Rosita and Enrique). Nevertheless, I am going to be browsing Hispanic name lists over the next few days to see if I can come up with something I like equally well.

Aren't names fun? *sighs*


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 15th, 2008 05:43 pm (UTC)
I had a character named Lucy and a character named Desmond (but everyone called him Desi) and they ended up falling in love, so I had the same I Love Lucy thing! But I just had them play it up.
Feb. 16th, 2008 04:28 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I don't think playing it up would really work in this one, unfortunately. ;) I might leave it anyway, because they are *so* different from the characters in I Love Lucy--I mean, none of my online critiquers noticed the name thing, and it never occurred to me, and how many teens are familiar with the show anyway?--but I'm not sure.
Feb. 15th, 2008 06:03 pm (UTC)
Most of my names have stayed the same, but! On one of the books I'm working on, one of my characters was originally named Paris Walsh- I named her after a friend I had in college.

She was this lovely, petite woman with THEEEEEEEEEEEE most soulful eyes I'd ever seen, so natch, the name Paris had really positive connotations for me.

Then my bf sent back a giggly note after reading the first three chapters, because when *she* reads Paris, she sees the Hilton. Oops. I never made the connection, but I'm so glad she did. Ms. Walsh's name is now Sarah. :D
Feb. 16th, 2008 04:30 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I can see how you wouldn't want that Paris Hilton association. And that is something a lot of teens would make. :P Maybe in another ten years...
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

My Books

Earth & Sky
(Earth & Sky #1, science fiction YA)
Skyscape/Razorbill Canada, 2014

The Clouded Sky
(Earth & Sky #2, science fiction YA)
Skyscape/Razorbill Canada, 2015

A Sky Unbroken
(Earth & Sky #3, science fiction YA)
Skyscape/Razorbill Canada, 2015

The Way We Fall
(Fallen World #1, apocalyptic YA)
Disney-Hyperion, 2012

The Lives We Lost
(Fallen World #2, apocalyptic YA)
Disney-Hyperion, 2013

The Worlds We Make
(Fallen World #3, apocalyptic YA)
Disney-Hyperion, 2014

Those Who Lived: Fallen World Stories
(Fallen World #3.5, apocalyptic YA)
self pubbed, 2014

Give Up the Ghost
(paranormal YA)
Henry Holt, 2009

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