Wednesday, January 25, 2017

What's In A Name?

What’s in a name?

At some point in our lives, we’ve all had to pick a name for one reason or another and it’s not always easy. Actually, the only time it was easy for me was when we got our chickens because clearly three of them had to be Monica, Rachel and Phoebe.

And one had to be Mark. Yes, I know, Mark isn’t usually a “girl” name, but Survivor had just finished its season where the contestants kept Mark-the-Chicken as a pet instead of eating him, so. . .  J The other two weren’t so easy to name, but eventually I settled on Cochrane and Willy.

Choosing names for characters can be a bit of a trick. For instance, I’ve started writing the first book in my next series and even though I’ve known the heroine’s name for a while, the hero was a little more work. Armed with an image of what I thought this particular man looked like, along with an idea of who he is as a character, I knew going in what his name couldn’t be. I knew he couldn’t be a stereotypical nerdy-Eugene or tough-guy-Ryker, but that his name would have to fall somewhere in between – and that left a lot of choices.

Plenty of writers can charge ahead and write most of their book without naming their characters, but my brain’s wired differently. I need names and I need them to be cemented in my psyche before I get too deep into the story because I find that changing a name mid-stride can often change the character which then changes the story and that’s just a disaster for me.

There are also authors who keep lists of names that they like and pick from that when they start a new book, but that doesn’t work for me either because it seems that names I didn’t like a month ago, I might love now, and vice versa, so I always start from scratch. I came up with a pretty good list, but no matter how many great names I scribbled down, I found myself consistently going back to one: Sam.

I was telling a friend of mine about trying to pick this particular name and during the conversation I sent her a picture of the image I had. She immediately started firing different names back at me until she ended with “Alex!” (exclamation mark and all – LOL) And she was right. To look at the picture I sent her, he could totally be an Alex, and I love that name (even made the short list), so back I went and changed all my Sams to Alexes and I kept writing. But. . .

The more I wrote, the more something kept picking at my brain until I realized that it didn’t matter what I did or how I tried to change him into an Alex, I couldn’t do it because he’s not an Alex; he’s a Sam. And now that I’m settled on that, I can’t wait for you all to meet him and let me know if you think I’m right! J

In the meantime, I hope you’ll pick up my Fishing for Trouble series where you’ll get to meet Liam, Finn and Ronan O’Donnell, my Irish-Canadian brothers who think they have their lives all figured out until, one by one, they meet the women who’ll show them how much they’ve been missing.

USA Today bestselling author Laura Drewry writes fun and sexy contemporary romances filled with heartfelt emotion and characters readers can relate to. When she’s not writing, she likes reading, watching Marvel movies with her boys, Pinning recipes she'll never make, and cheering for the Yankees. Laura lives in southwest British Columbia with her husband, three sons, two dogs, a turtle, a handful of chicken and about 30,000 bees.
You can find her online at – please stop by and say hi!


dstoutholcomb said...

like your thought process for names

Laura Drewry said...

Thanks - it's certainly always interesting. LOL