Character Names and where to find them, maybe
I would like to thank the inestimable Stephanie for saving me from a fate worse than death-boredom. Yes, ladies and gentlemen a writer can be bored when they don’t have a book to write or edits to do.
On 2/19/15 I finished the rough draft to The Duke’s Bride. I planned to take until March 1 off from starting the next book in the Rogues and Rakehells series, An Earl’s Queen. By the next day with nothing to do or write it was taking its toll on me so I posted about it on one of the social media sites.
That’s when Stephanie came to my rescue. She asked, via IM, if I’d like to do a post for her Layered Pages blog. After conversing for a few minutes we came up with a plan, how and where I find some character names.
To me a name is just that, as name and it doesn’t have to tell the reader something about the character. Look at my name, Lindsay. Oh, and that’s my real name. Granted there are some you can’t use—Rocky, Bubba, Benji, Kade. And that’s just a few of the men’s. There are also limitations in the names we can use for the ladies as well.
As I’m currently writing three, yes three, different regency series: Markson Regency Mystery, Rogues and Rakehells Mystery and my newest, The Radcliffes (tentative series title) finding character names can be difficult.
Of the two name, Christian and surname, the first name is the most difficult, unless you know where to look. All around you.
When I was planning out the first book in the Markson Regency Mystery series, The Masked Lady and The Murder, for the heroine I wanted a name people would remember since she and the hero would appear in all the books. As it turned out one of the baristas at my favorite coffee shop had it-Kristin. To make the name more interesting I added an “a”. Thus Kristina was born. For the hero I went vanilla-Robert.
When it came to La Contessa and The Marquis once again I found the name at the same coffee shop. When I asked if she’d mind me using her name ‘Bianca’ she loved the idea.
Where I live there are several stores I frequent and some of the employees know I’m an author. Several times they’ve asked to be included in one of my books and if possible I accommodate them. One person in particular wanted his name used and of course being Patrick it would fit nicely in one I was currently writing. Oops, not just one but two different books. I didn’t want that since the character was going to be the villain in both.
One day I’m in my local grocery store, talking with one of the staff and another overheard us. His name was Justin and it hit me, this person’s name would work perfectly in The Duke’s Bride. Asking if he’d like to have character named after him he say yes.
Then I told him, “Oh and by the way you’re going to be killed.”
His face lit up. “How?”
Being the nice guy that I am I answered, “You’ve two choices, dance the hangman’s jig or be shot.”
Needless to say he chose the latter.
My point is, if you know the person and they say “yes” you can use their name, get them partially involved in what will happen to them, in the book that is. This can help bring a stronger connection between you and them and you might have a new follower.
Here are two websites I use to help with finding names-
This is for first name- Behind the Name
This is for surnames- Surnames/Behind the Name
Just make sure the name you choose fits into the genre you’re writing as mentioned above.
When Bianca Maria Ledford Goretti, La Contessa de Massa, flees back to her homeland and the safety of her godmother, The Duchess of Gorham, little does she realize whose arms she lands in.
Lord Rainer Cross, Marquis of Hathaway, is a well-known and dangerous rakehell within the ton. Little does he suspect his godmother has set him up to halt his skirt chasing day’s.
Over time the reason for Bianca’s return comes to light which has Rainer deeply concerned. Not sure who he can trust Rainer turns to has several of his more interesting staff. He has them use their talents to ferret out the truth.
Everything get more complicated when they learn a friend might not be who he claims to be. Not sure who to trust, except Rainer and the duchess, Bianca learns several startling facts which could protect her from harm.
Once everything is revealed the duchess steps in with a surprise, something neither could have ever seen coming.
I’ve been an avid readers ever since I was old enough to hold a red leather bound first edition copy of Sir Walter Scott’s The Lady of the Lake in my lap.
So it only seemed natural at some point in my life I take up pen and paper to start writing. Over time my skills slightly improved which I attribute to my English teachers.
My breakthrough came about in the mid 1970’s when I read a historical romance written by Sergeanne Golon, Angelique. This French husband and wife team opened my eyes to the real world of fiction. Stories about romance, beautiful damsels, handsome heroes and plots which kept me hooked. Of course, being a man, I had to keep my reading hidden from others as that wasn’t appropriate reading for men.
With this new found appreciation of the written word I took up other books and devoured them as a starving person would a plate of food. I them attempted to write again. I still wasn’t satisfied so I put it aside for years as other events entered my life.
Finally, in the early years of the new millennium I tried again to write and once again met with limited success. At least now I was able to get past the first page or two. Then, in 2006 a life changing event brought me back to my love, I took a job as a security officer. This allowed me plenty of time to read different genres.
My favorite was regency. As I poured through everyone I could get my hands on I knew this could be something I wanted to attempt.
Since 2012 when my debut regency romantic suspense released I was hooked and have, except for a few contemporaries, focused on this genre.
Since 2012 I’ve lived in central Texas. I’m also a member of Romance Writers of America and their local chapter.
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