Writing Process

What’s in a Name? A LOT!

I’ve been thinking a lot about names today. This morning I wrote about how horrid I am at recalling them on sugarsnaptastic.com.

But I love naming characters. I get to finally use all those names I was never able to use because I couldn’t possibly have that many babies. I even get to use names that were vetoed with a knee jerk response of “Oh, ish. Pee-eww.” (That’s my mom, by the way.)

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Olive is the nickname of one of my characters in North Star. I love that name. Nature names just make me happy, which is also why Olive’s real name is Brooke. I have a Summer in this book series too.

Olive’s dad is Kevin. An all-American name, but that defines my character pretty well. It doesn’t hurt that I had the cutest cousin in the world that I wish I hadn’t been related to. When we found out we were third or fourth cousins, we ended up kissing.

The kisses weren’t nearly as hot as the kisses between Kevin and Hugo.

Oh, Hugo. I love that name more than all the characters in this book. It’s strong and masculine. It’s not heard of everyday, especially where my story is set, so he’d definitely be noticed, which fits. He’s an actor. The name is memorable, short, and powerful.

I’m so glad I decided to go with that name because the more I write it, the more I like it.

That hasn’t always been the case. When I started out writing Fall Into You, I couldn’t decide on Simon’s name at all! Thomas was a given, but Simon went through many changes. And once Simon was decided on, it took time for it to really grow on me.

I was working on edits before I realized I’d named Natalie the female version of one of my close friends. Nathan and Nathaniel have been very meaningful names for reasons I’m not willing to share here, but to realize so late in the game that I unwittingly used the female version was a little more than eye opening.

It’s strange. I know names carry a lot of baggage with them. I’ll always love the name Andrea because she was my first best friend. I’ll probably always internally cringe when I meet a Shane, because that was the name of my bully.

But I’m so happy to be writing about Hugo and Kevin and Brooke/Olive and Finn. Even the secondary character names I like: Summer, Gilbert, Erin, Myles.

Oh! And I do love to name characters I’m not particularly fond of too. Sometimes I use names that were over used when I was a kid to name un-noteworthy characters. I’ve named a character who sticks her nose where it doesn’t belong after my boss. LOL.

This is just one of the little things that makes writing so fun!

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