Ever wake up and feel as if you’re living someone else’s life? You look around and, while everything is terribly familiar, it just isn’t yours?
OR . . . did you ever wake up and wish you COULD live someone else’s life? 😉 Well, heck, buddy. You just might be a writer.
One of the first problems I ran into as a writer was naming my characters. One of my first hero names I chose was Dirk. Why Dirk? I. Don’t. Know. I probably had read it sometime and really liked the character connected to it.
I quickly learned that the hero’s name should actually fit his character–not at all like we name our children in real life.
Ever see that old, old TV show Rawhide? Let’s play a game with their character names. (You can play, even if you never saw the show.)
Now three character sketches–
a- Trail boss. Gruff and tough, business minded with a good heart.
b- Cantankerous old trail cook. Often adds levity to the stories.
c- Young and good-looking with many qualities of a young pup. Gets into trouble before thinking through the consequences. Often gets into trouble concerning women.
Now put them together. Which character goes with which name?
When I was writing Blind Sight, my hero needed a name that was two syllables, the first a hard consonant. I’m not even sure how I knew it. I just did. So as a gift, Marilyn gave me his name. Keegan. I still love that name!
The book I’m working on right now has a bull riding hero with a strong sense of family responsibility. He’s good-looking, nice, and he’s a Christian. His name? Mitch. 🙂
The heroine of my book grew up a tomboy, she’s a barrel racer and a horse thief. I named her Jessie, which is a good thing, because I named the first two or three heroines in my manuscripts Jennifer. (Thank goodness, I got over that!)
So the best way to find a character’s name? Get to know your character. Set up their personalities and let them live for a while. They’ll practically name themselves. 🙂