Friday, August 8

Your Name is... WTH?

I once wrote a blog about why you should never give your hero or heroine a horrible name. Like Elmer or Beulah. Today, I want to talk about something different. Hard to pronounce or how-the-hell-do-you-pronounce-that names.


Anyone whose read my books or critiqued my stories know I have a habit of hanging weird names on my characters. Especially my heroines. For example, my Dreamers heroine is Somiar. Not so weird to me, until I was invited to a book club discussing the book. Everyone pronounced her name differently. Out of twelve women, one had her name right. It's pronounced So-mee-ar. I know it's a hard name to remember, but in my writer brain, it fit.


Life After featured a heroine named Kalyste. Pronounced Ka-least. Again the name fit. I had written two chapters before she told me her name. I kept trying to guess and my guesses were horrible. I got tired of typing name here every time I referred to her. At one point, I decided I wouldn't write another word until she told me her name.

Imagine my surprise when Blake and Ella from Ella Ever After had normal names. They were secondary characters from Life After, and I don't think a secondary character has ever come to me with an unusual name.


Now, the weird names are back. I have a work in progress featuring Vhine and Sonata. They introduced themselves to me while I was on vacation in Mexico. Vhine is a lot more forthcoming and vocal than Sonata. Not sure I like her much right now, but I know why she's so hard to get along with. I understand her, just don't like her much. But that's another blog.

What's the weirdest name you ever gave a character?

10 comments:

  1. I think Promise in One More Summer had the strangest name, but it fit her so well I didn't argue the point. It was nice to know I was pronouncing Somiar and Kalyste's names right! :-)

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    1. I like the name Promise. I think it's pretty.

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  2. I was pronouncing Kalyste wrong all this time!?!?! (I pronounce it Ka-List-uh). I did get Somiar right... :D

    Esmerelda is my most difficult/different name, and she went by Esme (Es-Me), all my other characters have had 'normal' names - Kathleen, Vanessa, Monica, Casey, Lily, Nina, Kat (Katrina) and now Paige and Jaime.

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    1. I always imagine Samantha's mother in Bewitched when I hear Esmeralda. And she was such a cool character.

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  3. Same as what Kristi said. :)
    Weird? Hmmmm....don't think I have one...in this current WIP there is Teal and Montana, but that's about as far out as I get. :)

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    1. I think Teal is unusual. And I've never heard of it before as a name. I like that. It would make me remember her.

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  4. Just got my RWA in the mail. I couldn't help but giggle when I saw one of the articles was Naming Land Mines.

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  5. Bixby was pretty different--not hard to say, but not really a first name either. But it so fits him. And now, I have an affinity for names with an X in them.

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    1. Not many names with X in them so it will be memorable. Did I mention my son's middle name is Xavier and his nickname is Alex?

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