What’s In a Name

137_3778 - CopySusan here, in the midst of a busy and distracting week — (including recovering from a computer meltdown that set everything back in the oh-so charming way that computers have), so it's a perfect time for what we like to call a Wench Classic — a previous post from a while back, polished up a bit, updated and trotted out again.  

ABCNaming a character can be a delicate thing, not to be approached lightly, as it's a crucial step in the early stages of writing a book — and crucial throughout, since I often find myself changing a name more than once in a draft as I get to know that character better. I've spent hours poring over name books looking for just the right name. Main, secondary, tertiary or just a throwaway for someone who appears once or twice in the story, each name can have impact and influence on the story. A name can help determine the reader's perception of a character, too, and particularly in historicals, can contribute to a sense of authenticity. When there are actual historical people in the story, the names can be pre-determined — so sometimes the author is well and truly stuck and must make the best of it. In writing historical romance, and especially mainstream historical fiction, I've been stuck with some dreadful names that were a challenge to work around.
Alphabet

The right names can establish historicity, and they can be important threads in weaving the fabric of a story and a time period — just as the wrong sort of name can undermine believability and disrupt the flow of the story. Names have historical and social contexts and it's good to take those into consideration when choosing a character name for a particular time and setting. Some names can sound quite modern despite a historical pedigree; other names are just plain unpleasant or downright ugly; some are hard to pronounce or look strange on the page; and some carry with them a quality that affects the character, such as a name that makes us think of someone frumpy, or sly, or weak. The modern connotation of a name is just as important as the historical context — because the reader may think of the modern sense of the name first, even if it suits the history in the story. 

BlacksurnamescotlandLike most authors, I love name books. I've gathered a shelf or two of name books by now, well-thumbed pages liberally salted with penciling and underlining, sticky notes and printouts of additional lists. When we named our three kids, I had just two or three naming books (I wasn't a fiction writer then!) and I still use those books today, plus lots more. Now the naming library includes books of historical names, books of cultural names, books with census lists and historical background, books that explore the social, numerological, even the kabbalistic context of names. Any resource that helps name a character is welcome. Because naming a character is part of defining the essence of that character.

Authenticity is important, and so is sound — even read silently, the sound and tone of a name can contribute to that character. Spelling, pronunciation, how many other characters' names begin with the same letter or with a similar sound — these are all factors in choosing a character name. If I'm flying through the writing of a story and just need to pick a name quickly for a maidservant or a reverend or some person who pops into the story and pops right back out again, it's easy to pick up the nearest name book, choose a name, and go back to the writing. The pitfall lies in snatching names from the beginning of the book–suddenly I realize that everyone has a name beginning with A or B, and further into the story, C and D. Author process can be so transparent sometimes . . . 

StGeorge_Dijon_12th centuryFor me, authenticity in naming is a big consideration. Character names should fit the historical context of the story, and not only have to sound and feel right for the character, but for the setting and the historical era. Many good name books will give the origin and history of a name, along with some notes on census reports showing the most common and popular names in certain centuries. Withycombe's The Oxford Dictionary of English Christian Names is one of the best for this sort of information.

A name can be historically accurate, and yet sound all wrong to the modern reader. My favorite example is "Tiffany" — which seems like a ridiculously modern name for a medieval heroine. And yet the name did occur in the medieval era. It origin is Theophania, or Epiphany. According to Withycombe, there was a Tiffany recorded in England in 1315, along with others. Religious holiday names were popular in earlier centuries, names like Noel, Christmas, Pascal, and so on. 

SusanKing_TheAngelKnight_200pxI once named a medieval heroine "Michaelmas"–the feast of the Archangel Michael in September was her birthday. She was a secondary character, the younger sister of the hero in The Angel Knight. Both Michaelmas and her brother were natural hands-on healers, born in a time when that sort of activity was suspect, to say the least. Readers loved little Michaelmas (she was eight years old in The Angel Knight) — and I got so many requests for her story that I decided to write a sequel. But I hadn't planned on writing a story for Michaelmas when I named her originally — and so I found myself well and truly stuck with a name that wasn't great for a romance heroine.

Kin_LadyMiracle_200xAs I worked on her book–Lady Miracle,  in which Michaelmas grows up to become a female physician in the 14th century — I called her "Michael" for short. The use of masculine names for females was very prevalent in the medieval era, so there was historical precedent for the name. Publishers Weekly gave Lady Miracle a starred review (which is still framed on my office wall!), but I also remember one reader bashing the book because the heroine had a guy's name and she just couldn't get into the story because of it.

Even so, I love the name Michaelmas, and I love the character. Given it to do over, I would choose that name again. It suited her perfectly. (By the way, Lady Miracle and Angel Knight are now available in ebook, and Lady Miracle is available, for a short time, for .99 cents!)

Besides accuracy and authenticity (two different aspects of good historical fiction), I also have to consider whether I can live with typing that name a zillion times in the course of writing the manuscript. And I've sometimes changed the name of a hero or heroine repeatedly while writing a story, looking for the right fit. The character doesn't click for me until the name is right for them. Sometimes the right name is there from the beginning–other times, it takes continual searching and experimenting.

TriskelionAnd can the reader pronounce the name? Not always. I'm often using Gaelic and Celtic names in my stories, and they can be the very de'il to pronounce. I try to find ways to gently show the reader how to pronounce the name, by having another character learn to say it phonetically. I try to go for the ones that are obvious–like Bethoc, Morag, Niall, and I leave names like Siobhan and Eibhlin, lovely as they are when said aloud (Chevonne and Evleen), aside. 

Lady Macbeth paperback coverWhen a character is a historical person with a tricky name–that needs to be handled very carefully. In Lady Macbeth, I had to work my way around the names Gruoch, Lulach, Gillecomghainn and others that were even worse–so I simplified and modernized the names as much as possible while still keeping things accurate. Lady Macbeth herself was recorded as Gruoch in a Latin document. I had no choice at first–but I kept typing "Grouch" so I had to find a better solution. My own research indicated that her actual name may have been Gruadh ("Groo-ath"), a bit more pronounceable and much prettier on the page. So I went with that, but I also gave her the nickname "Rue" — best I could do for the reader's sake!  

Do you find that a character's name makes a difference to your enjoyment of a story? If you're a writer, do you pick and choose the names carefully each time for the sense of character or the historical setting? What do you hate about names in stories — and what do you love? Have you ever named your children (or pets!) after a name in a book?  (Friends of ours named their little Yorkie puppy "Tyrion" from Game of Thrones – perfect!). 

Susan

 

115 thoughts on “What’s In a Name”

  1. Great post, Susan, and like you, I agonize over the names of my characters. In fact, the name of my heroine in my first book is Siobhan. It’s always been my favorite Irish name, and since the book is set in Ireland, I simply had to use it. But I made sure to show how to pronounce it on the first page, as I try to do when I introduce any character with a Gaelic-spelled name.

    Reply
  2. Great post, Susan, and like you, I agonize over the names of my characters. In fact, the name of my heroine in my first book is Siobhan. It’s always been my favorite Irish name, and since the book is set in Ireland, I simply had to use it. But I made sure to show how to pronounce it on the first page, as I try to do when I introduce any character with a Gaelic-spelled name.

    Reply
  3. Great post, Susan, and like you, I agonize over the names of my characters. In fact, the name of my heroine in my first book is Siobhan. It’s always been my favorite Irish name, and since the book is set in Ireland, I simply had to use it. But I made sure to show how to pronounce it on the first page, as I try to do when I introduce any character with a Gaelic-spelled name.

    Reply
  4. Great post, Susan, and like you, I agonize over the names of my characters. In fact, the name of my heroine in my first book is Siobhan. It’s always been my favorite Irish name, and since the book is set in Ireland, I simply had to use it. But I made sure to show how to pronounce it on the first page, as I try to do when I introduce any character with a Gaelic-spelled name.

    Reply
  5. Great post, Susan, and like you, I agonize over the names of my characters. In fact, the name of my heroine in my first book is Siobhan. It’s always been my favorite Irish name, and since the book is set in Ireland, I simply had to use it. But I made sure to show how to pronounce it on the first page, as I try to do when I introduce any character with a Gaelic-spelled name.

    Reply
  6. Exactly, Cynthia, I’ve run into the same thing many times too. The Gaelic and old Celtic names are beautiful when said aloud, but Gaelic spelling is non-phonetic and foreign to most of us (bh is a “v,” dh is a “th” and so on–not intuitive!).
    So I always find a way to introduce the pronunciation of the name, too, when I use a name with an odd spelling. The Anglicized spellings are a bit clunky and not nearly as poetic, though, so I don’t usually just clean them up. Bodhe, for example, would be Boyd. Not quite the same ring.
    It’s true for other languages and cultures as well, certainly not just the Gaelic!

    Reply
  7. Exactly, Cynthia, I’ve run into the same thing many times too. The Gaelic and old Celtic names are beautiful when said aloud, but Gaelic spelling is non-phonetic and foreign to most of us (bh is a “v,” dh is a “th” and so on–not intuitive!).
    So I always find a way to introduce the pronunciation of the name, too, when I use a name with an odd spelling. The Anglicized spellings are a bit clunky and not nearly as poetic, though, so I don’t usually just clean them up. Bodhe, for example, would be Boyd. Not quite the same ring.
    It’s true for other languages and cultures as well, certainly not just the Gaelic!

    Reply
  8. Exactly, Cynthia, I’ve run into the same thing many times too. The Gaelic and old Celtic names are beautiful when said aloud, but Gaelic spelling is non-phonetic and foreign to most of us (bh is a “v,” dh is a “th” and so on–not intuitive!).
    So I always find a way to introduce the pronunciation of the name, too, when I use a name with an odd spelling. The Anglicized spellings are a bit clunky and not nearly as poetic, though, so I don’t usually just clean them up. Bodhe, for example, would be Boyd. Not quite the same ring.
    It’s true for other languages and cultures as well, certainly not just the Gaelic!

    Reply
  9. Exactly, Cynthia, I’ve run into the same thing many times too. The Gaelic and old Celtic names are beautiful when said aloud, but Gaelic spelling is non-phonetic and foreign to most of us (bh is a “v,” dh is a “th” and so on–not intuitive!).
    So I always find a way to introduce the pronunciation of the name, too, when I use a name with an odd spelling. The Anglicized spellings are a bit clunky and not nearly as poetic, though, so I don’t usually just clean them up. Bodhe, for example, would be Boyd. Not quite the same ring.
    It’s true for other languages and cultures as well, certainly not just the Gaelic!

    Reply
  10. Exactly, Cynthia, I’ve run into the same thing many times too. The Gaelic and old Celtic names are beautiful when said aloud, but Gaelic spelling is non-phonetic and foreign to most of us (bh is a “v,” dh is a “th” and so on–not intuitive!).
    So I always find a way to introduce the pronunciation of the name, too, when I use a name with an odd spelling. The Anglicized spellings are a bit clunky and not nearly as poetic, though, so I don’t usually just clean them up. Bodhe, for example, would be Boyd. Not quite the same ring.
    It’s true for other languages and cultures as well, certainly not just the Gaelic!

    Reply
  11. I suppose with Biblical and classic old names, such as the monarchs of the era used, you cannot go wrong at least for secondary characters? As a reader I am not bothered by unusual or old-fashioned names, on the contrary, but I hate too modern names.
    As to the other question, I named my first two cats after two girls in a children’s book, Dinah and Dorinda. Dorinda proved to be unsuitable for the character of that cat, however, and was soon shortened to Do.

    Reply
  12. I suppose with Biblical and classic old names, such as the monarchs of the era used, you cannot go wrong at least for secondary characters? As a reader I am not bothered by unusual or old-fashioned names, on the contrary, but I hate too modern names.
    As to the other question, I named my first two cats after two girls in a children’s book, Dinah and Dorinda. Dorinda proved to be unsuitable for the character of that cat, however, and was soon shortened to Do.

    Reply
  13. I suppose with Biblical and classic old names, such as the monarchs of the era used, you cannot go wrong at least for secondary characters? As a reader I am not bothered by unusual or old-fashioned names, on the contrary, but I hate too modern names.
    As to the other question, I named my first two cats after two girls in a children’s book, Dinah and Dorinda. Dorinda proved to be unsuitable for the character of that cat, however, and was soon shortened to Do.

    Reply
  14. I suppose with Biblical and classic old names, such as the monarchs of the era used, you cannot go wrong at least for secondary characters? As a reader I am not bothered by unusual or old-fashioned names, on the contrary, but I hate too modern names.
    As to the other question, I named my first two cats after two girls in a children’s book, Dinah and Dorinda. Dorinda proved to be unsuitable for the character of that cat, however, and was soon shortened to Do.

    Reply
  15. I suppose with Biblical and classic old names, such as the monarchs of the era used, you cannot go wrong at least for secondary characters? As a reader I am not bothered by unusual or old-fashioned names, on the contrary, but I hate too modern names.
    As to the other question, I named my first two cats after two girls in a children’s book, Dinah and Dorinda. Dorinda proved to be unsuitable for the character of that cat, however, and was soon shortened to Do.

    Reply
  16. When I was a young girl my favorite book was “Little Women”. I was sure I would grow up and have 4 daughters and name them Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy. I did grow up but Fate laughed and gave me 3 boys, so the naming strategy had to change.
    As for characters in books, I’ve read a number where several names were too similar to easily differentiate, especially if my eyes were tired. In those situations I’m definitely a bit annoyed as it pulls me out of the story if I have to spend time and mental energy remembering that Jean is the heroine’s maid and Joan is her younger sister. If actual historical figures, I understand that the author had no options, but if fictional I do wish the author had used a bit more imagination.

    Reply
  17. When I was a young girl my favorite book was “Little Women”. I was sure I would grow up and have 4 daughters and name them Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy. I did grow up but Fate laughed and gave me 3 boys, so the naming strategy had to change.
    As for characters in books, I’ve read a number where several names were too similar to easily differentiate, especially if my eyes were tired. In those situations I’m definitely a bit annoyed as it pulls me out of the story if I have to spend time and mental energy remembering that Jean is the heroine’s maid and Joan is her younger sister. If actual historical figures, I understand that the author had no options, but if fictional I do wish the author had used a bit more imagination.

    Reply
  18. When I was a young girl my favorite book was “Little Women”. I was sure I would grow up and have 4 daughters and name them Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy. I did grow up but Fate laughed and gave me 3 boys, so the naming strategy had to change.
    As for characters in books, I’ve read a number where several names were too similar to easily differentiate, especially if my eyes were tired. In those situations I’m definitely a bit annoyed as it pulls me out of the story if I have to spend time and mental energy remembering that Jean is the heroine’s maid and Joan is her younger sister. If actual historical figures, I understand that the author had no options, but if fictional I do wish the author had used a bit more imagination.

    Reply
  19. When I was a young girl my favorite book was “Little Women”. I was sure I would grow up and have 4 daughters and name them Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy. I did grow up but Fate laughed and gave me 3 boys, so the naming strategy had to change.
    As for characters in books, I’ve read a number where several names were too similar to easily differentiate, especially if my eyes were tired. In those situations I’m definitely a bit annoyed as it pulls me out of the story if I have to spend time and mental energy remembering that Jean is the heroine’s maid and Joan is her younger sister. If actual historical figures, I understand that the author had no options, but if fictional I do wish the author had used a bit more imagination.

    Reply
  20. When I was a young girl my favorite book was “Little Women”. I was sure I would grow up and have 4 daughters and name them Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy. I did grow up but Fate laughed and gave me 3 boys, so the naming strategy had to change.
    As for characters in books, I’ve read a number where several names were too similar to easily differentiate, especially if my eyes were tired. In those situations I’m definitely a bit annoyed as it pulls me out of the story if I have to spend time and mental energy remembering that Jean is the heroine’s maid and Joan is her younger sister. If actual historical figures, I understand that the author had no options, but if fictional I do wish the author had used a bit more imagination.

    Reply
  21. I get annoyed when regency heroines’ names sound too modern to me. Tiffany, as you point out, is perfectly okay, since it existed in that era — but Buffy, Courtney and Brittny? I suppose it is barely possible that those might be some sort of traditional family names, but somehow I don’t think that’s why those authors chose them. Likewise unlikely names like Star and Satin (Claudette Williams) just seem Barbie-doll silly to me. Maybe I’m too picky.

    Reply
  22. I get annoyed when regency heroines’ names sound too modern to me. Tiffany, as you point out, is perfectly okay, since it existed in that era — but Buffy, Courtney and Brittny? I suppose it is barely possible that those might be some sort of traditional family names, but somehow I don’t think that’s why those authors chose them. Likewise unlikely names like Star and Satin (Claudette Williams) just seem Barbie-doll silly to me. Maybe I’m too picky.

    Reply
  23. I get annoyed when regency heroines’ names sound too modern to me. Tiffany, as you point out, is perfectly okay, since it existed in that era — but Buffy, Courtney and Brittny? I suppose it is barely possible that those might be some sort of traditional family names, but somehow I don’t think that’s why those authors chose them. Likewise unlikely names like Star and Satin (Claudette Williams) just seem Barbie-doll silly to me. Maybe I’m too picky.

    Reply
  24. I get annoyed when regency heroines’ names sound too modern to me. Tiffany, as you point out, is perfectly okay, since it existed in that era — but Buffy, Courtney and Brittny? I suppose it is barely possible that those might be some sort of traditional family names, but somehow I don’t think that’s why those authors chose them. Likewise unlikely names like Star and Satin (Claudette Williams) just seem Barbie-doll silly to me. Maybe I’m too picky.

    Reply
  25. I get annoyed when regency heroines’ names sound too modern to me. Tiffany, as you point out, is perfectly okay, since it existed in that era — but Buffy, Courtney and Brittny? I suppose it is barely possible that those might be some sort of traditional family names, but somehow I don’t think that’s why those authors chose them. Likewise unlikely names like Star and Satin (Claudette Williams) just seem Barbie-doll silly to me. Maybe I’m too picky.

    Reply
  26. I once wrote a book (in desk drawer) with the male character’s name being Sebastian. I love that name, I love it when other people write it, but half way through the book I was sick of hearing it. Sebastian this, Sebastian that…oh Sebastian. I thought about nicknames for him, but in the end I changed him to Andrew.

    Reply
  27. I once wrote a book (in desk drawer) with the male character’s name being Sebastian. I love that name, I love it when other people write it, but half way through the book I was sick of hearing it. Sebastian this, Sebastian that…oh Sebastian. I thought about nicknames for him, but in the end I changed him to Andrew.

    Reply
  28. I once wrote a book (in desk drawer) with the male character’s name being Sebastian. I love that name, I love it when other people write it, but half way through the book I was sick of hearing it. Sebastian this, Sebastian that…oh Sebastian. I thought about nicknames for him, but in the end I changed him to Andrew.

    Reply
  29. I once wrote a book (in desk drawer) with the male character’s name being Sebastian. I love that name, I love it when other people write it, but half way through the book I was sick of hearing it. Sebastian this, Sebastian that…oh Sebastian. I thought about nicknames for him, but in the end I changed him to Andrew.

    Reply
  30. I once wrote a book (in desk drawer) with the male character’s name being Sebastian. I love that name, I love it when other people write it, but half way through the book I was sick of hearing it. Sebastian this, Sebastian that…oh Sebastian. I thought about nicknames for him, but in the end I changed him to Andrew.

    Reply
  31. That’s funny, Kay. My fave 1960s era movie was “Sebastian”, with Dirk Bogarde and Susannah York. Must have seen it twenty times back in the day. Paid quite a bit for a bootleg dvd. But I can see that after a while that particular name if repeated could sound strange. It is funny that sometimes when you repeat a word or a name long enough, it loses all meaning.

    Reply
  32. That’s funny, Kay. My fave 1960s era movie was “Sebastian”, with Dirk Bogarde and Susannah York. Must have seen it twenty times back in the day. Paid quite a bit for a bootleg dvd. But I can see that after a while that particular name if repeated could sound strange. It is funny that sometimes when you repeat a word or a name long enough, it loses all meaning.

    Reply
  33. That’s funny, Kay. My fave 1960s era movie was “Sebastian”, with Dirk Bogarde and Susannah York. Must have seen it twenty times back in the day. Paid quite a bit for a bootleg dvd. But I can see that after a while that particular name if repeated could sound strange. It is funny that sometimes when you repeat a word or a name long enough, it loses all meaning.

    Reply
  34. That’s funny, Kay. My fave 1960s era movie was “Sebastian”, with Dirk Bogarde and Susannah York. Must have seen it twenty times back in the day. Paid quite a bit for a bootleg dvd. But I can see that after a while that particular name if repeated could sound strange. It is funny that sometimes when you repeat a word or a name long enough, it loses all meaning.

    Reply
  35. That’s funny, Kay. My fave 1960s era movie was “Sebastian”, with Dirk Bogarde and Susannah York. Must have seen it twenty times back in the day. Paid quite a bit for a bootleg dvd. But I can see that after a while that particular name if repeated could sound strange. It is funny that sometimes when you repeat a word or a name long enough, it loses all meaning.

    Reply
  36. Love this. My pet peeve on names is the heroine called Deliah but I read it as Delilah. A couple of authors have used these names and I get half way through and realise I have been reading the wrong name. Then I can’t decide if I should go back the start or just change the name from when I realise my mistake. All very confusing. By the way, I do like ‘Andrew’.

    Reply
  37. Love this. My pet peeve on names is the heroine called Deliah but I read it as Delilah. A couple of authors have used these names and I get half way through and realise I have been reading the wrong name. Then I can’t decide if I should go back the start or just change the name from when I realise my mistake. All very confusing. By the way, I do like ‘Andrew’.

    Reply
  38. Love this. My pet peeve on names is the heroine called Deliah but I read it as Delilah. A couple of authors have used these names and I get half way through and realise I have been reading the wrong name. Then I can’t decide if I should go back the start or just change the name from when I realise my mistake. All very confusing. By the way, I do like ‘Andrew’.

    Reply
  39. Love this. My pet peeve on names is the heroine called Deliah but I read it as Delilah. A couple of authors have used these names and I get half way through and realise I have been reading the wrong name. Then I can’t decide if I should go back the start or just change the name from when I realise my mistake. All very confusing. By the way, I do like ‘Andrew’.

    Reply
  40. Love this. My pet peeve on names is the heroine called Deliah but I read it as Delilah. A couple of authors have used these names and I get half way through and realise I have been reading the wrong name. Then I can’t decide if I should go back the start or just change the name from when I realise my mistake. All very confusing. By the way, I do like ‘Andrew’.

    Reply
  41. One of the things that puts me off fantasy and sometimes paranormal is the made-up, seriously contrived names. The worst must be the name of Bella and Edward’s child in the Twilight trilogy. I can’t even spell it. George R.R. Martin steers close to the wind here as well. I have not read the books but a friend is an ardent fan and he has pointed out many names that have been improved by the producers of the series to make it easier for viewers. If a name is really laboured and silly, and you feel the author has tried to be ‘different,’ this can be so off-putting. A name that annoys pops out every time it appears. I agree with Janice (above). A name repeated so often tends to look wrong after a while. Imagine a made-up name. Annoying…..!

    Reply
  42. One of the things that puts me off fantasy and sometimes paranormal is the made-up, seriously contrived names. The worst must be the name of Bella and Edward’s child in the Twilight trilogy. I can’t even spell it. George R.R. Martin steers close to the wind here as well. I have not read the books but a friend is an ardent fan and he has pointed out many names that have been improved by the producers of the series to make it easier for viewers. If a name is really laboured and silly, and you feel the author has tried to be ‘different,’ this can be so off-putting. A name that annoys pops out every time it appears. I agree with Janice (above). A name repeated so often tends to look wrong after a while. Imagine a made-up name. Annoying…..!

    Reply
  43. One of the things that puts me off fantasy and sometimes paranormal is the made-up, seriously contrived names. The worst must be the name of Bella and Edward’s child in the Twilight trilogy. I can’t even spell it. George R.R. Martin steers close to the wind here as well. I have not read the books but a friend is an ardent fan and he has pointed out many names that have been improved by the producers of the series to make it easier for viewers. If a name is really laboured and silly, and you feel the author has tried to be ‘different,’ this can be so off-putting. A name that annoys pops out every time it appears. I agree with Janice (above). A name repeated so often tends to look wrong after a while. Imagine a made-up name. Annoying…..!

    Reply
  44. One of the things that puts me off fantasy and sometimes paranormal is the made-up, seriously contrived names. The worst must be the name of Bella and Edward’s child in the Twilight trilogy. I can’t even spell it. George R.R. Martin steers close to the wind here as well. I have not read the books but a friend is an ardent fan and he has pointed out many names that have been improved by the producers of the series to make it easier for viewers. If a name is really laboured and silly, and you feel the author has tried to be ‘different,’ this can be so off-putting. A name that annoys pops out every time it appears. I agree with Janice (above). A name repeated so often tends to look wrong after a while. Imagine a made-up name. Annoying…..!

    Reply
  45. One of the things that puts me off fantasy and sometimes paranormal is the made-up, seriously contrived names. The worst must be the name of Bella and Edward’s child in the Twilight trilogy. I can’t even spell it. George R.R. Martin steers close to the wind here as well. I have not read the books but a friend is an ardent fan and he has pointed out many names that have been improved by the producers of the series to make it easier for viewers. If a name is really laboured and silly, and you feel the author has tried to be ‘different,’ this can be so off-putting. A name that annoys pops out every time it appears. I agree with Janice (above). A name repeated so often tends to look wrong after a while. Imagine a made-up name. Annoying…..!

    Reply
  46. Good Morning, Susan!
    I’m heading off-topic, here, but before I do, I’ll just add that I can find it VERY difficult when an author uses a number of names that begin with the same letter AND are about the same length. Read an otherwise excellent Scottish historical recently that drove me crazy with that, even more so because they were all important secondary characters.
    I’ve been so happy gobbling up your backlisread as each book becomes available in ebook form! Is there any chance I’ll be able to get Raven’s Moon and Snow Rose soon?
    Thanks.

    Reply
  47. Good Morning, Susan!
    I’m heading off-topic, here, but before I do, I’ll just add that I can find it VERY difficult when an author uses a number of names that begin with the same letter AND are about the same length. Read an otherwise excellent Scottish historical recently that drove me crazy with that, even more so because they were all important secondary characters.
    I’ve been so happy gobbling up your backlisread as each book becomes available in ebook form! Is there any chance I’ll be able to get Raven’s Moon and Snow Rose soon?
    Thanks.

    Reply
  48. Good Morning, Susan!
    I’m heading off-topic, here, but before I do, I’ll just add that I can find it VERY difficult when an author uses a number of names that begin with the same letter AND are about the same length. Read an otherwise excellent Scottish historical recently that drove me crazy with that, even more so because they were all important secondary characters.
    I’ve been so happy gobbling up your backlisread as each book becomes available in ebook form! Is there any chance I’ll be able to get Raven’s Moon and Snow Rose soon?
    Thanks.

    Reply
  49. Good Morning, Susan!
    I’m heading off-topic, here, but before I do, I’ll just add that I can find it VERY difficult when an author uses a number of names that begin with the same letter AND are about the same length. Read an otherwise excellent Scottish historical recently that drove me crazy with that, even more so because they were all important secondary characters.
    I’ve been so happy gobbling up your backlisread as each book becomes available in ebook form! Is there any chance I’ll be able to get Raven’s Moon and Snow Rose soon?
    Thanks.

    Reply
  50. Good Morning, Susan!
    I’m heading off-topic, here, but before I do, I’ll just add that I can find it VERY difficult when an author uses a number of names that begin with the same letter AND are about the same length. Read an otherwise excellent Scottish historical recently that drove me crazy with that, even more so because they were all important secondary characters.
    I’ve been so happy gobbling up your backlisread as each book becomes available in ebook form! Is there any chance I’ll be able to get Raven’s Moon and Snow Rose soon?
    Thanks.

    Reply
  51. Ms. King,
    Ooh dear, being a fellow writer, I too, find myself wrapped up in the etymology of names! I have one book that delves into names that you may or may not normally stumble across as its a cross-cultural book of names, and I simply adore it! ๐Ÿ™‚ I tend to lean towards Old World names: Sebastian, Hamilton, Grant, Grayson, etc. As I love the character traits that they evoke! I’d be hard pressed to ‘shorten’ their names, unless it was for endearment purposes by a spouse or love interest….
    I have noticed that “Bass” is used for “Sebastian”,… winking a nod to the commenter who said she couldn’t get through the manuscript with this name!
    I completely agree, on using difficult to pronounce names in stories — I do appreciate it when writers re-write the names for the reader to digest and assert how the name sounds aloud!! I am attempting to do that myself, as I must say, I do appreciate a great Gaelic inspired name! However, it took watching BallyKissAngel for me to understand how to say, “Siobhan!”
    Yes, I do find that a uniquely named character oft gains my immediate attention whilst I read the story — it parlays my mind to extend theories about the choice and how intergal the character may or may not be throughout the book.
    The only time I grow a bit indifferent with a character’s name, is generally not the name itself {unless historically it sounds ridiculous!}, but rather, the treatment of the character overall. Sometimes when you read a novel, you get full bodied characters, fully fleshed out, and they honour their name and their backstory. Other times, it feels more like the character is a mere afterthought, and their name starts to irk you, not because of ‘the name’ but because they represent an underwritten piece of the story! ๐Ÿ™
    Technically, I named my cats after characters from Star Trek: the Next Generation, as well as a keenly wise quantum physcist! So, yes, I do have the propensity to name those who are dear to me after characters or authors who alight in my life! My last honey bear hamster took on the evolving character of “Dax” from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine! Classic Trek rocks! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
  52. Ms. King,
    Ooh dear, being a fellow writer, I too, find myself wrapped up in the etymology of names! I have one book that delves into names that you may or may not normally stumble across as its a cross-cultural book of names, and I simply adore it! ๐Ÿ™‚ I tend to lean towards Old World names: Sebastian, Hamilton, Grant, Grayson, etc. As I love the character traits that they evoke! I’d be hard pressed to ‘shorten’ their names, unless it was for endearment purposes by a spouse or love interest….
    I have noticed that “Bass” is used for “Sebastian”,… winking a nod to the commenter who said she couldn’t get through the manuscript with this name!
    I completely agree, on using difficult to pronounce names in stories — I do appreciate it when writers re-write the names for the reader to digest and assert how the name sounds aloud!! I am attempting to do that myself, as I must say, I do appreciate a great Gaelic inspired name! However, it took watching BallyKissAngel for me to understand how to say, “Siobhan!”
    Yes, I do find that a uniquely named character oft gains my immediate attention whilst I read the story — it parlays my mind to extend theories about the choice and how intergal the character may or may not be throughout the book.
    The only time I grow a bit indifferent with a character’s name, is generally not the name itself {unless historically it sounds ridiculous!}, but rather, the treatment of the character overall. Sometimes when you read a novel, you get full bodied characters, fully fleshed out, and they honour their name and their backstory. Other times, it feels more like the character is a mere afterthought, and their name starts to irk you, not because of ‘the name’ but because they represent an underwritten piece of the story! ๐Ÿ™
    Technically, I named my cats after characters from Star Trek: the Next Generation, as well as a keenly wise quantum physcist! So, yes, I do have the propensity to name those who are dear to me after characters or authors who alight in my life! My last honey bear hamster took on the evolving character of “Dax” from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine! Classic Trek rocks! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
  53. Ms. King,
    Ooh dear, being a fellow writer, I too, find myself wrapped up in the etymology of names! I have one book that delves into names that you may or may not normally stumble across as its a cross-cultural book of names, and I simply adore it! ๐Ÿ™‚ I tend to lean towards Old World names: Sebastian, Hamilton, Grant, Grayson, etc. As I love the character traits that they evoke! I’d be hard pressed to ‘shorten’ their names, unless it was for endearment purposes by a spouse or love interest….
    I have noticed that “Bass” is used for “Sebastian”,… winking a nod to the commenter who said she couldn’t get through the manuscript with this name!
    I completely agree, on using difficult to pronounce names in stories — I do appreciate it when writers re-write the names for the reader to digest and assert how the name sounds aloud!! I am attempting to do that myself, as I must say, I do appreciate a great Gaelic inspired name! However, it took watching BallyKissAngel for me to understand how to say, “Siobhan!”
    Yes, I do find that a uniquely named character oft gains my immediate attention whilst I read the story — it parlays my mind to extend theories about the choice and how intergal the character may or may not be throughout the book.
    The only time I grow a bit indifferent with a character’s name, is generally not the name itself {unless historically it sounds ridiculous!}, but rather, the treatment of the character overall. Sometimes when you read a novel, you get full bodied characters, fully fleshed out, and they honour their name and their backstory. Other times, it feels more like the character is a mere afterthought, and their name starts to irk you, not because of ‘the name’ but because they represent an underwritten piece of the story! ๐Ÿ™
    Technically, I named my cats after characters from Star Trek: the Next Generation, as well as a keenly wise quantum physcist! So, yes, I do have the propensity to name those who are dear to me after characters or authors who alight in my life! My last honey bear hamster took on the evolving character of “Dax” from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine! Classic Trek rocks! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
  54. Ms. King,
    Ooh dear, being a fellow writer, I too, find myself wrapped up in the etymology of names! I have one book that delves into names that you may or may not normally stumble across as its a cross-cultural book of names, and I simply adore it! ๐Ÿ™‚ I tend to lean towards Old World names: Sebastian, Hamilton, Grant, Grayson, etc. As I love the character traits that they evoke! I’d be hard pressed to ‘shorten’ their names, unless it was for endearment purposes by a spouse or love interest….
    I have noticed that “Bass” is used for “Sebastian”,… winking a nod to the commenter who said she couldn’t get through the manuscript with this name!
    I completely agree, on using difficult to pronounce names in stories — I do appreciate it when writers re-write the names for the reader to digest and assert how the name sounds aloud!! I am attempting to do that myself, as I must say, I do appreciate a great Gaelic inspired name! However, it took watching BallyKissAngel for me to understand how to say, “Siobhan!”
    Yes, I do find that a uniquely named character oft gains my immediate attention whilst I read the story — it parlays my mind to extend theories about the choice and how intergal the character may or may not be throughout the book.
    The only time I grow a bit indifferent with a character’s name, is generally not the name itself {unless historically it sounds ridiculous!}, but rather, the treatment of the character overall. Sometimes when you read a novel, you get full bodied characters, fully fleshed out, and they honour their name and their backstory. Other times, it feels more like the character is a mere afterthought, and their name starts to irk you, not because of ‘the name’ but because they represent an underwritten piece of the story! ๐Ÿ™
    Technically, I named my cats after characters from Star Trek: the Next Generation, as well as a keenly wise quantum physcist! So, yes, I do have the propensity to name those who are dear to me after characters or authors who alight in my life! My last honey bear hamster took on the evolving character of “Dax” from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine! Classic Trek rocks! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
  55. Ms. King,
    Ooh dear, being a fellow writer, I too, find myself wrapped up in the etymology of names! I have one book that delves into names that you may or may not normally stumble across as its a cross-cultural book of names, and I simply adore it! ๐Ÿ™‚ I tend to lean towards Old World names: Sebastian, Hamilton, Grant, Grayson, etc. As I love the character traits that they evoke! I’d be hard pressed to ‘shorten’ their names, unless it was for endearment purposes by a spouse or love interest….
    I have noticed that “Bass” is used for “Sebastian”,… winking a nod to the commenter who said she couldn’t get through the manuscript with this name!
    I completely agree, on using difficult to pronounce names in stories — I do appreciate it when writers re-write the names for the reader to digest and assert how the name sounds aloud!! I am attempting to do that myself, as I must say, I do appreciate a great Gaelic inspired name! However, it took watching BallyKissAngel for me to understand how to say, “Siobhan!”
    Yes, I do find that a uniquely named character oft gains my immediate attention whilst I read the story — it parlays my mind to extend theories about the choice and how intergal the character may or may not be throughout the book.
    The only time I grow a bit indifferent with a character’s name, is generally not the name itself {unless historically it sounds ridiculous!}, but rather, the treatment of the character overall. Sometimes when you read a novel, you get full bodied characters, fully fleshed out, and they honour their name and their backstory. Other times, it feels more like the character is a mere afterthought, and their name starts to irk you, not because of ‘the name’ but because they represent an underwritten piece of the story! ๐Ÿ™
    Technically, I named my cats after characters from Star Trek: the Next Generation, as well as a keenly wise quantum physcist! So, yes, I do have the propensity to name those who are dear to me after characters or authors who alight in my life! My last honey bear hamster took on the evolving character of “Dax” from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine! Classic Trek rocks! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
  56. Janice – A Regency heroine named Buffy – it seems a stretch. Though I find it’s possible to justify almost anything as “coulda happened” while writing historical fiction, some things are just anachronistic. Most authors are generally pretty good about such details, though.

    Reply
  57. Janice – A Regency heroine named Buffy – it seems a stretch. Though I find it’s possible to justify almost anything as “coulda happened” while writing historical fiction, some things are just anachronistic. Most authors are generally pretty good about such details, though.

    Reply
  58. Janice – A Regency heroine named Buffy – it seems a stretch. Though I find it’s possible to justify almost anything as “coulda happened” while writing historical fiction, some things are just anachronistic. Most authors are generally pretty good about such details, though.

    Reply
  59. Janice – A Regency heroine named Buffy – it seems a stretch. Though I find it’s possible to justify almost anything as “coulda happened” while writing historical fiction, some things are just anachronistic. Most authors are generally pretty good about such details, though.

    Reply
  60. Janice – A Regency heroine named Buffy – it seems a stretch. Though I find it’s possible to justify almost anything as “coulda happened” while writing historical fiction, some things are just anachronistic. Most authors are generally pretty good about such details, though.

    Reply
  61. Kay – I named a hero “Sebastien” in The Stone Maiden, so I can sympathize. I shortened it to “Bastien” (he was a Breton knight protecting the king in medieval Scotland), but the repetition factor did get to me. What I find tougher are names that end in “s” or “es” like James. I love the name, and I’ve used it once for a hero in Laird of the Wind, but throughout, it was tricky to keep writing “James’s.” I swore I’d be more careful after that!
    Then there are the names that rhyme with things. I have a hero named Ned in our Wench anthology, Mischief and Mistletoe. “Ned said” really got on my nerves, so I’d find ways to avoid it. He said. Ned remarked. Ned murmured. Anything but “Ned said”. . !

    Reply
  62. Kay – I named a hero “Sebastien” in The Stone Maiden, so I can sympathize. I shortened it to “Bastien” (he was a Breton knight protecting the king in medieval Scotland), but the repetition factor did get to me. What I find tougher are names that end in “s” or “es” like James. I love the name, and I’ve used it once for a hero in Laird of the Wind, but throughout, it was tricky to keep writing “James’s.” I swore I’d be more careful after that!
    Then there are the names that rhyme with things. I have a hero named Ned in our Wench anthology, Mischief and Mistletoe. “Ned said” really got on my nerves, so I’d find ways to avoid it. He said. Ned remarked. Ned murmured. Anything but “Ned said”. . !

    Reply
  63. Kay – I named a hero “Sebastien” in The Stone Maiden, so I can sympathize. I shortened it to “Bastien” (he was a Breton knight protecting the king in medieval Scotland), but the repetition factor did get to me. What I find tougher are names that end in “s” or “es” like James. I love the name, and I’ve used it once for a hero in Laird of the Wind, but throughout, it was tricky to keep writing “James’s.” I swore I’d be more careful after that!
    Then there are the names that rhyme with things. I have a hero named Ned in our Wench anthology, Mischief and Mistletoe. “Ned said” really got on my nerves, so I’d find ways to avoid it. He said. Ned remarked. Ned murmured. Anything but “Ned said”. . !

    Reply
  64. Kay – I named a hero “Sebastien” in The Stone Maiden, so I can sympathize. I shortened it to “Bastien” (he was a Breton knight protecting the king in medieval Scotland), but the repetition factor did get to me. What I find tougher are names that end in “s” or “es” like James. I love the name, and I’ve used it once for a hero in Laird of the Wind, but throughout, it was tricky to keep writing “James’s.” I swore I’d be more careful after that!
    Then there are the names that rhyme with things. I have a hero named Ned in our Wench anthology, Mischief and Mistletoe. “Ned said” really got on my nerves, so I’d find ways to avoid it. He said. Ned remarked. Ned murmured. Anything but “Ned said”. . !

    Reply
  65. Kay – I named a hero “Sebastien” in The Stone Maiden, so I can sympathize. I shortened it to “Bastien” (he was a Breton knight protecting the king in medieval Scotland), but the repetition factor did get to me. What I find tougher are names that end in “s” or “es” like James. I love the name, and I’ve used it once for a hero in Laird of the Wind, but throughout, it was tricky to keep writing “James’s.” I swore I’d be more careful after that!
    Then there are the names that rhyme with things. I have a hero named Ned in our Wench anthology, Mischief and Mistletoe. “Ned said” really got on my nerves, so I’d find ways to avoid it. He said. Ned remarked. Ned murmured. Anything but “Ned said”. . !

    Reply
  66. Maria – LOL about the kitty names! Do is probably quite a little do-er.
    Jorie – interesting thoughts on names and creating characters with them. I so agree. I did do the Sebastien thing, though, and I loved that character. And I think sometimes a character is an afterthought – sometimes you have to fill a story gap or move a plot line with a secondary character and the name may be chosen quickly, though they still count. You never know when one of those characters may pop up in another novel!

    Reply
  67. Maria – LOL about the kitty names! Do is probably quite a little do-er.
    Jorie – interesting thoughts on names and creating characters with them. I so agree. I did do the Sebastien thing, though, and I loved that character. And I think sometimes a character is an afterthought – sometimes you have to fill a story gap or move a plot line with a secondary character and the name may be chosen quickly, though they still count. You never know when one of those characters may pop up in another novel!

    Reply
  68. Maria – LOL about the kitty names! Do is probably quite a little do-er.
    Jorie – interesting thoughts on names and creating characters with them. I so agree. I did do the Sebastien thing, though, and I loved that character. And I think sometimes a character is an afterthought – sometimes you have to fill a story gap or move a plot line with a secondary character and the name may be chosen quickly, though they still count. You never know when one of those characters may pop up in another novel!

    Reply
  69. Maria – LOL about the kitty names! Do is probably quite a little do-er.
    Jorie – interesting thoughts on names and creating characters with them. I so agree. I did do the Sebastien thing, though, and I loved that character. And I think sometimes a character is an afterthought – sometimes you have to fill a story gap or move a plot line with a secondary character and the name may be chosen quickly, though they still count. You never know when one of those characters may pop up in another novel!

    Reply
  70. Maria – LOL about the kitty names! Do is probably quite a little do-er.
    Jorie – interesting thoughts on names and creating characters with them. I so agree. I did do the Sebastien thing, though, and I loved that character. And I think sometimes a character is an afterthought – sometimes you have to fill a story gap or move a plot line with a secondary character and the name may be chosen quickly, though they still count. You never know when one of those characters may pop up in another novel!

    Reply
  71. Faith, thank you so much! I appreciate it. Raven’s Moon is on the list to be digitized, and “The Snow Rose” is currently in production and will be available in September.
    And later this year we’ll be releasing the Maiden series — The Stone Maiden (that’s Sebastien and Alainna, while we’re on names!), The Swan Maiden (Gawain and Juliana) and The Sword Maiden (Lachlann and Eva). These are some of my favorite books and favorite heroes. I’ll post the news of Wenches when I have more info. Thanks for asking!

    Reply
  72. Faith, thank you so much! I appreciate it. Raven’s Moon is on the list to be digitized, and “The Snow Rose” is currently in production and will be available in September.
    And later this year we’ll be releasing the Maiden series — The Stone Maiden (that’s Sebastien and Alainna, while we’re on names!), The Swan Maiden (Gawain and Juliana) and The Sword Maiden (Lachlann and Eva). These are some of my favorite books and favorite heroes. I’ll post the news of Wenches when I have more info. Thanks for asking!

    Reply
  73. Faith, thank you so much! I appreciate it. Raven’s Moon is on the list to be digitized, and “The Snow Rose” is currently in production and will be available in September.
    And later this year we’ll be releasing the Maiden series — The Stone Maiden (that’s Sebastien and Alainna, while we’re on names!), The Swan Maiden (Gawain and Juliana) and The Sword Maiden (Lachlann and Eva). These are some of my favorite books and favorite heroes. I’ll post the news of Wenches when I have more info. Thanks for asking!

    Reply
  74. Faith, thank you so much! I appreciate it. Raven’s Moon is on the list to be digitized, and “The Snow Rose” is currently in production and will be available in September.
    And later this year we’ll be releasing the Maiden series — The Stone Maiden (that’s Sebastien and Alainna, while we’re on names!), The Swan Maiden (Gawain and Juliana) and The Sword Maiden (Lachlann and Eva). These are some of my favorite books and favorite heroes. I’ll post the news of Wenches when I have more info. Thanks for asking!

    Reply
  75. Faith, thank you so much! I appreciate it. Raven’s Moon is on the list to be digitized, and “The Snow Rose” is currently in production and will be available in September.
    And later this year we’ll be releasing the Maiden series — The Stone Maiden (that’s Sebastien and Alainna, while we’re on names!), The Swan Maiden (Gawain and Juliana) and The Sword Maiden (Lachlann and Eva). These are some of my favorite books and favorite heroes. I’ll post the news of Wenches when I have more info. Thanks for asking!

    Reply
  76. Fiona (I love your name, btw) – I know what you mean about fantasy names – they sometimes sound contrived and not genuine to the world that’s being created in the book(s). Though I like many of the names that Martin has come up with for Game of Thrones – creative and character-expressive names for the most part, and they sound genuine to his alternate world. Some are a mouthful in the books, though. I’m glad they simplified a few for the series.
    I’m a big GoT fan. We all are, in our household!

    Reply
  77. Fiona (I love your name, btw) – I know what you mean about fantasy names – they sometimes sound contrived and not genuine to the world that’s being created in the book(s). Though I like many of the names that Martin has come up with for Game of Thrones – creative and character-expressive names for the most part, and they sound genuine to his alternate world. Some are a mouthful in the books, though. I’m glad they simplified a few for the series.
    I’m a big GoT fan. We all are, in our household!

    Reply
  78. Fiona (I love your name, btw) – I know what you mean about fantasy names – they sometimes sound contrived and not genuine to the world that’s being created in the book(s). Though I like many of the names that Martin has come up with for Game of Thrones – creative and character-expressive names for the most part, and they sound genuine to his alternate world. Some are a mouthful in the books, though. I’m glad they simplified a few for the series.
    I’m a big GoT fan. We all are, in our household!

    Reply
  79. Fiona (I love your name, btw) – I know what you mean about fantasy names – they sometimes sound contrived and not genuine to the world that’s being created in the book(s). Though I like many of the names that Martin has come up with for Game of Thrones – creative and character-expressive names for the most part, and they sound genuine to his alternate world. Some are a mouthful in the books, though. I’m glad they simplified a few for the series.
    I’m a big GoT fan. We all are, in our household!

    Reply
  80. Fiona (I love your name, btw) – I know what you mean about fantasy names – they sometimes sound contrived and not genuine to the world that’s being created in the book(s). Though I like many of the names that Martin has come up with for Game of Thrones – creative and character-expressive names for the most part, and they sound genuine to his alternate world. Some are a mouthful in the books, though. I’m glad they simplified a few for the series.
    I’m a big GoT fan. We all are, in our household!

    Reply
  81. Short names all starting with the same letter I often find I get muddled like someone said Joan and Jean and Jane !I do find ultra modern names in a historical annoying – I encountered a Blaze once I was so busy muttering that a hidebound english aristocratic family would be sure to name their son and heir Blaze!Kept thinking it sounded more like the prize stallion in the family’s stable (he did apparently have some resemblance)I honestly can’t remember what happened in the book !

    Reply
  82. Short names all starting with the same letter I often find I get muddled like someone said Joan and Jean and Jane !I do find ultra modern names in a historical annoying – I encountered a Blaze once I was so busy muttering that a hidebound english aristocratic family would be sure to name their son and heir Blaze!Kept thinking it sounded more like the prize stallion in the family’s stable (he did apparently have some resemblance)I honestly can’t remember what happened in the book !

    Reply
  83. Short names all starting with the same letter I often find I get muddled like someone said Joan and Jean and Jane !I do find ultra modern names in a historical annoying – I encountered a Blaze once I was so busy muttering that a hidebound english aristocratic family would be sure to name their son and heir Blaze!Kept thinking it sounded more like the prize stallion in the family’s stable (he did apparently have some resemblance)I honestly can’t remember what happened in the book !

    Reply
  84. Short names all starting with the same letter I often find I get muddled like someone said Joan and Jean and Jane !I do find ultra modern names in a historical annoying – I encountered a Blaze once I was so busy muttering that a hidebound english aristocratic family would be sure to name their son and heir Blaze!Kept thinking it sounded more like the prize stallion in the family’s stable (he did apparently have some resemblance)I honestly can’t remember what happened in the book !

    Reply
  85. Short names all starting with the same letter I often find I get muddled like someone said Joan and Jean and Jane !I do find ultra modern names in a historical annoying – I encountered a Blaze once I was so busy muttering that a hidebound english aristocratic family would be sure to name their son and heir Blaze!Kept thinking it sounded more like the prize stallion in the family’s stable (he did apparently have some resemblance)I honestly can’t remember what happened in the book !

    Reply
  86. Well, my siblings are Niall and Siobhan, so those names seem perfectly reasonable to me, LOL! But the debate as to how Niall is pronounced is hilarious (Nile, Neil, Noal) and entirely dependent on where you live.
    I love odd, historical names. Alas, my editor did NOT (not Not NOT). I ended up having to change the hero of my second book in the middle of writing it, and then I had to change it back in the manuscript in order to finish as the name we settled on just didnโ€™t work for me, and I still donโ€™t know who the heck โ€œGarethโ€ is when I get fan mail, LOL! It always stumps me for a minute.

    Reply
  87. Well, my siblings are Niall and Siobhan, so those names seem perfectly reasonable to me, LOL! But the debate as to how Niall is pronounced is hilarious (Nile, Neil, Noal) and entirely dependent on where you live.
    I love odd, historical names. Alas, my editor did NOT (not Not NOT). I ended up having to change the hero of my second book in the middle of writing it, and then I had to change it back in the manuscript in order to finish as the name we settled on just didnโ€™t work for me, and I still donโ€™t know who the heck โ€œGarethโ€ is when I get fan mail, LOL! It always stumps me for a minute.

    Reply
  88. Well, my siblings are Niall and Siobhan, so those names seem perfectly reasonable to me, LOL! But the debate as to how Niall is pronounced is hilarious (Nile, Neil, Noal) and entirely dependent on where you live.
    I love odd, historical names. Alas, my editor did NOT (not Not NOT). I ended up having to change the hero of my second book in the middle of writing it, and then I had to change it back in the manuscript in order to finish as the name we settled on just didnโ€™t work for me, and I still donโ€™t know who the heck โ€œGarethโ€ is when I get fan mail, LOL! It always stumps me for a minute.

    Reply
  89. Well, my siblings are Niall and Siobhan, so those names seem perfectly reasonable to me, LOL! But the debate as to how Niall is pronounced is hilarious (Nile, Neil, Noal) and entirely dependent on where you live.
    I love odd, historical names. Alas, my editor did NOT (not Not NOT). I ended up having to change the hero of my second book in the middle of writing it, and then I had to change it back in the manuscript in order to finish as the name we settled on just didnโ€™t work for me, and I still donโ€™t know who the heck โ€œGarethโ€ is when I get fan mail, LOL! It always stumps me for a minute.

    Reply
  90. Well, my siblings are Niall and Siobhan, so those names seem perfectly reasonable to me, LOL! But the debate as to how Niall is pronounced is hilarious (Nile, Neil, Noal) and entirely dependent on where you live.
    I love odd, historical names. Alas, my editor did NOT (not Not NOT). I ended up having to change the hero of my second book in the middle of writing it, and then I had to change it back in the manuscript in order to finish as the name we settled on just didnโ€™t work for me, and I still donโ€™t know who the heck โ€œGarethโ€ is when I get fan mail, LOL! It always stumps me for a minute.

    Reply
  91. Ms. King,
    Yes, but in this instance your speaking of, a character created in haste does have purpose and weight — my only bone of contention is when characters {in leads or supporting roles} appear to be caricature rather than full bodied. I do agree with you, but only if the writer gives them something other than a good name, so that a piece of them remains with us.
    Which is why if I see a secondary character spun into their own novel, I celebrate! ๐Ÿ™‚ Your quite right: they can carry their own story arcs and be just as delish to read about as the original protagionists!

    Reply
  92. Ms. King,
    Yes, but in this instance your speaking of, a character created in haste does have purpose and weight — my only bone of contention is when characters {in leads or supporting roles} appear to be caricature rather than full bodied. I do agree with you, but only if the writer gives them something other than a good name, so that a piece of them remains with us.
    Which is why if I see a secondary character spun into their own novel, I celebrate! ๐Ÿ™‚ Your quite right: they can carry their own story arcs and be just as delish to read about as the original protagionists!

    Reply
  93. Ms. King,
    Yes, but in this instance your speaking of, a character created in haste does have purpose and weight — my only bone of contention is when characters {in leads or supporting roles} appear to be caricature rather than full bodied. I do agree with you, but only if the writer gives them something other than a good name, so that a piece of them remains with us.
    Which is why if I see a secondary character spun into their own novel, I celebrate! ๐Ÿ™‚ Your quite right: they can carry their own story arcs and be just as delish to read about as the original protagionists!

    Reply
  94. Ms. King,
    Yes, but in this instance your speaking of, a character created in haste does have purpose and weight — my only bone of contention is when characters {in leads or supporting roles} appear to be caricature rather than full bodied. I do agree with you, but only if the writer gives them something other than a good name, so that a piece of them remains with us.
    Which is why if I see a secondary character spun into their own novel, I celebrate! ๐Ÿ™‚ Your quite right: they can carry their own story arcs and be just as delish to read about as the original protagionists!

    Reply
  95. Ms. King,
    Yes, but in this instance your speaking of, a character created in haste does have purpose and weight — my only bone of contention is when characters {in leads or supporting roles} appear to be caricature rather than full bodied. I do agree with you, but only if the writer gives them something other than a good name, so that a piece of them remains with us.
    Which is why if I see a secondary character spun into their own novel, I celebrate! ๐Ÿ™‚ Your quite right: they can carry their own story arcs and be just as delish to read about as the original protagionists!

    Reply
  96. Do you find that a character’s name makes a difference to your enjoyment of a story? Yes! Although so far I’ve come across a name that TRULY bothered me only once. Mostly it bothered me because the character was supposed to be a Finn (born in Finland, Finnish parents and so forth) and he had a truly weird name for a Finn and it bothered me so much I really couldn’t enjoy the story. It’s not that we wouldn’t have our share of foreign names here (especially Swedish and Russian ones for obvious reasons), but “Jarl Hendricks” wouldn’t be my first choise for a Finnish character.

    Reply
  97. Do you find that a character’s name makes a difference to your enjoyment of a story? Yes! Although so far I’ve come across a name that TRULY bothered me only once. Mostly it bothered me because the character was supposed to be a Finn (born in Finland, Finnish parents and so forth) and he had a truly weird name for a Finn and it bothered me so much I really couldn’t enjoy the story. It’s not that we wouldn’t have our share of foreign names here (especially Swedish and Russian ones for obvious reasons), but “Jarl Hendricks” wouldn’t be my first choise for a Finnish character.

    Reply
  98. Do you find that a character’s name makes a difference to your enjoyment of a story? Yes! Although so far I’ve come across a name that TRULY bothered me only once. Mostly it bothered me because the character was supposed to be a Finn (born in Finland, Finnish parents and so forth) and he had a truly weird name for a Finn and it bothered me so much I really couldn’t enjoy the story. It’s not that we wouldn’t have our share of foreign names here (especially Swedish and Russian ones for obvious reasons), but “Jarl Hendricks” wouldn’t be my first choise for a Finnish character.

    Reply
  99. Do you find that a character’s name makes a difference to your enjoyment of a story? Yes! Although so far I’ve come across a name that TRULY bothered me only once. Mostly it bothered me because the character was supposed to be a Finn (born in Finland, Finnish parents and so forth) and he had a truly weird name for a Finn and it bothered me so much I really couldn’t enjoy the story. It’s not that we wouldn’t have our share of foreign names here (especially Swedish and Russian ones for obvious reasons), but “Jarl Hendricks” wouldn’t be my first choise for a Finnish character.

    Reply
  100. Do you find that a character’s name makes a difference to your enjoyment of a story? Yes! Although so far I’ve come across a name that TRULY bothered me only once. Mostly it bothered me because the character was supposed to be a Finn (born in Finland, Finnish parents and so forth) and he had a truly weird name for a Finn and it bothered me so much I really couldn’t enjoy the story. It’s not that we wouldn’t have our share of foreign names here (especially Swedish and Russian ones for obvious reasons), but “Jarl Hendricks” wouldn’t be my first choise for a Finnish character.

    Reply
  101. I love celtic names, but I always appreciate the pronunciation help! Names have always been important to me; I’m not a writer, but in high school I used to buy baby name books and highlight all the ones I liked and memorized the meanings of comon names.
    I love knowing that authors put so much effort into choosing a character’s name! “Melissa” or “Cindy” may or may not have existed in the Regency, but it does knock me out of the story when the name doesn’t seem to fit historically

    Reply
  102. I love celtic names, but I always appreciate the pronunciation help! Names have always been important to me; I’m not a writer, but in high school I used to buy baby name books and highlight all the ones I liked and memorized the meanings of comon names.
    I love knowing that authors put so much effort into choosing a character’s name! “Melissa” or “Cindy” may or may not have existed in the Regency, but it does knock me out of the story when the name doesn’t seem to fit historically

    Reply
  103. I love celtic names, but I always appreciate the pronunciation help! Names have always been important to me; I’m not a writer, but in high school I used to buy baby name books and highlight all the ones I liked and memorized the meanings of comon names.
    I love knowing that authors put so much effort into choosing a character’s name! “Melissa” or “Cindy” may or may not have existed in the Regency, but it does knock me out of the story when the name doesn’t seem to fit historically

    Reply
  104. I love celtic names, but I always appreciate the pronunciation help! Names have always been important to me; I’m not a writer, but in high school I used to buy baby name books and highlight all the ones I liked and memorized the meanings of comon names.
    I love knowing that authors put so much effort into choosing a character’s name! “Melissa” or “Cindy” may or may not have existed in the Regency, but it does knock me out of the story when the name doesn’t seem to fit historically

    Reply
  105. I love celtic names, but I always appreciate the pronunciation help! Names have always been important to me; I’m not a writer, but in high school I used to buy baby name books and highlight all the ones I liked and memorized the meanings of comon names.
    I love knowing that authors put so much effort into choosing a character’s name! “Melissa” or “Cindy” may or may not have existed in the Regency, but it does knock me out of the story when the name doesn’t seem to fit historically

    Reply
  106. That’s a perfect way to put it, Anna – that a character name that’s too modern or somehow doesn’t evoke or support character and setting can knock the reader right out of the story.

    Reply
  107. That’s a perfect way to put it, Anna – that a character name that’s too modern or somehow doesn’t evoke or support character and setting can knock the reader right out of the story.

    Reply
  108. That’s a perfect way to put it, Anna – that a character name that’s too modern or somehow doesn’t evoke or support character and setting can knock the reader right out of the story.

    Reply
  109. That’s a perfect way to put it, Anna – that a character name that’s too modern or somehow doesn’t evoke or support character and setting can knock the reader right out of the story.

    Reply
  110. That’s a perfect way to put it, Anna – that a character name that’s too modern or somehow doesn’t evoke or support character and setting can knock the reader right out of the story.

    Reply
  111. In my few (and very bad) attempts at writing stories, names have been one of the hardest parts for me. I just can’t decide, and after a while all my choices begin sounding too contrived or wrong for the character or something, and then I give up. (Writing has never been my strong point.)
    One of the oddest names I’ve ever come across in a Regency romance was a heroine named Clytemnestra. That really made me wonder if the author got a list of names and then picked one at random, without researching it at all, because how else do you come up with the idea that Clytemnestra is at all an appropriate Regency name? Somehow, I don’t think the author really wanted her character to be associated with a woman who killed her husband with the help of her lover, then was later killed by her son.

    Reply
  112. In my few (and very bad) attempts at writing stories, names have been one of the hardest parts for me. I just can’t decide, and after a while all my choices begin sounding too contrived or wrong for the character or something, and then I give up. (Writing has never been my strong point.)
    One of the oddest names I’ve ever come across in a Regency romance was a heroine named Clytemnestra. That really made me wonder if the author got a list of names and then picked one at random, without researching it at all, because how else do you come up with the idea that Clytemnestra is at all an appropriate Regency name? Somehow, I don’t think the author really wanted her character to be associated with a woman who killed her husband with the help of her lover, then was later killed by her son.

    Reply
  113. In my few (and very bad) attempts at writing stories, names have been one of the hardest parts for me. I just can’t decide, and after a while all my choices begin sounding too contrived or wrong for the character or something, and then I give up. (Writing has never been my strong point.)
    One of the oddest names I’ve ever come across in a Regency romance was a heroine named Clytemnestra. That really made me wonder if the author got a list of names and then picked one at random, without researching it at all, because how else do you come up with the idea that Clytemnestra is at all an appropriate Regency name? Somehow, I don’t think the author really wanted her character to be associated with a woman who killed her husband with the help of her lover, then was later killed by her son.

    Reply
  114. In my few (and very bad) attempts at writing stories, names have been one of the hardest parts for me. I just can’t decide, and after a while all my choices begin sounding too contrived or wrong for the character or something, and then I give up. (Writing has never been my strong point.)
    One of the oddest names I’ve ever come across in a Regency romance was a heroine named Clytemnestra. That really made me wonder if the author got a list of names and then picked one at random, without researching it at all, because how else do you come up with the idea that Clytemnestra is at all an appropriate Regency name? Somehow, I don’t think the author really wanted her character to be associated with a woman who killed her husband with the help of her lover, then was later killed by her son.

    Reply
  115. In my few (and very bad) attempts at writing stories, names have been one of the hardest parts for me. I just can’t decide, and after a while all my choices begin sounding too contrived or wrong for the character or something, and then I give up. (Writing has never been my strong point.)
    One of the oddest names I’ve ever come across in a Regency romance was a heroine named Clytemnestra. That really made me wonder if the author got a list of names and then picked one at random, without researching it at all, because how else do you come up with the idea that Clytemnestra is at all an appropriate Regency name? Somehow, I don’t think the author really wanted her character to be associated with a woman who killed her husband with the help of her lover, then was later killed by her son.

    Reply

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