What's in a Name? Part One


whats my name?
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 Names are one of my embarrassing obsessions.  I love names.  I love the stories they tell.  Their heritage.  Their personality.  The feel of them on my lips.  Their rhythm.  As a name nerd and writer I pay particularly close attention to naming my characters.

To me names have a color, an image, a personality, and if I'm reading a book where the name feels off it bothers me for the entire book.  Every time I come across the name I inwardly cringe.

Some of my favorite author namers are J.K. Rowling (I mean, really, have you read a series with more perfect names?), Cassandra Clare (I love Jace as the initials of Jonathon Christopher and how it ties into the plot), Ally Condie does a good job in Matched (Cassia is an awesome name, I also love Xander and Ky for their characters).

Some of my least favorite namers are . . . well I won't point fingers.  But I've read several books lately with Kate/Kat as the kick ass heroine.  Too much.  All those characters are blending together in my head and the worst thing is, they're all so similar.  Be a bit more creative.

I'm not saying that common names can't be used successfully.  Take Sam and Grace from Shiver.  Their names fit them perfectly and they're both very popular.  But using the exact same names for similar character's isn't the smartest move an author can make.  My advice: research the names of the current bestsellers in your genre and avoid those names if possible.

Come back for Part 2 when I discuss my naming process!

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