Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Name Game

As a writer, there are two things I struggle with. One of those is coming up with a title that’s not only interesting enough to catch the eye of a potential reader but also captures the essence of the story.  The other is naming characters. 

I’m so bad at coming up with original and interesting names for my characters that I bought a huge book put out by Writer’s Digest that’s aptly called The Character Naming Book.  My favorite thing about this book is that it gives a large list of names for several ethnicities so that writers can choose names appropriate to the culture they’re writing about which lends authenticity to their work. 

Today, I came across an interesting article on the Today Show web site regarding baby names. The article was about the most popular baby names for the year; at least the most popular names thus far. It seems Katniss is a top choice for a girl’s name. Katniss is the name of the female protagonist in The Hunger Games which is not only a novel but was recently a blockbuster movie. Though I don’t personally care for the name, I am impressed that a literary character was so influential in the baby naming trend for this year. Of course, this is nothing new. Remember when Twilight was a fan favorite, and everyone was naming their daughter Bella?

Thinking about this trend got me to thinking about the possibility of being part of the naming trend. I am a writer after all. I may not be famous yet, but I’ve been told more than a few times that my books would make great movies. So, why not? Yes, I was at one time suffering from a serious character naming deficiency, but I think I’m cured. Don’t believe me? Here are some of the female character names in my more popular works: Fallon, Lauren, Tarilyn, Gwen, Danni, Chelsea, Marcy, Corina, Daphne, Angelica, Wendy, Kara, Shirelle, Mina, Megan and Lucy.  And for the male characters I’ve used:  Lucian, Griffin, Christian, Simeon, Sebastian, Tate, Darren, Justin, Nick, Ethan and Solomon. Not bad names, if I do say so myself.

I may not have the fame I need right now to start a baby naming trend, but who knows? Maybe one of these days I’ll pen a bestseller with a character name or two that will strike a chord with readers, and I’ll be a major player in the name game trend. Maybe not. Either way, it’s fun to think about. 

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