Exciting news...my copy of Kayla's Daddy by Laura Bradford came in the mail this weekend. I won this wonderful book (by an amazing author!) over at Sharon Mayhew's Random Thoughts. Thanks, Sharon!
I've always been fascinated with names, and I've always loved baby naming books. Luckily for me, I don't have to give up my baby naming books just because I'm done naming my babies - now I name characters instead.
Of course the name has to be fitting for the character's nationality, age, etc. But I also like it to convey something of their personality. In my current wip, Murphy is so named because he was found as a child, with no memory of his former life or even his own name, in Murphy's Corner Store. But the name Murphy, to me, also conveys the athletic, all-American kind of guy that Murphy is. The mc, Tabitha, is called Tabs by her family, but Murphy calls her Tabby. Even though Murphy was raised as her brother, he's not her actual sibling. This is important to the story. I suppose most readers won't catch the nuance here, but maybe some will. The exotic, dark-haired beauty? Selena. The flirty barfly? Brandy.
My favorite baby name book is The Baby Name Survey Book by Bruce Lansky (though there's a new version out called - you guessed it - The New Baby Name Survey Book.) Not only does this book give the origin and meaning of each name, but also what people think of that name. Susan, for instance, is seen as wholesome, pleasant, and down-to-earth. Some people think she's whiny and fussy (can you belive that?!) Data was collected from a survey of over 100,000 parents to determine the predominant images of each name. Is your character quiet? Try Curtis. How about glamourous? Maybe Eden will fit her.
The funny thing about this book is that it's never on my bookshelf when I need it. Usually I find it in one of my kids' rooms. They actually spend time just reading through the pages of this baby name book - even my son. I guess names are fascinating to most everyone.
How about you? How do you choose character names? Do you spend a lot of time on them? Do you try to make them convey the character's personality?
In other news...Thanks so much for all the nice compliments on my family picture. I think most everyone guessed correctly that I am the sister sitting closest to my mom, with sunglasses pushed up on my head and a red shirt.
Also, thanks to all who offered advice on getting Blogger to recognize my paragraph breaks. Next time I have a problem I'll venture into editing the html (eek!)
I'll be back Tuesday with my entry for Fiction Groupie's Let's Talk Blogfest. If you haven't signed up yet, there's still time!
Happy Sunday, Everyone!