Thursday, September 17, 2009

Names redux

I've changed Cassie's name to Cam (thanks for the suggestion, Alan), short for Cambry. Cambree is a name in The Baby Name Wizard, but I thought the double-e ending had too modern a feel. I also changed Cam's last name from Key--because Cam Key sounds awful--to Reeves. Cam Reeves doesn't sound too great either, though. Hmm. May have to keep working on her last name.

But once I changed Cassie to Cam, I had to change her roommate's name again, because I'd changed her roommate's name from Ivy to Em. Cam and Em sound like two cartoon characters. So I changed Em's name to Ruby. I also changed the last name of Cam's new boyfriend from Bowman to Key, because Thomas Key sounds better than Thomas Bowman and the name Key was just floating around.

This is too hard to keep track of. I think I'll play video games for a while.

To keep this post from being too unutterably boring, I'll ask a question. What names do you keep going back to for characters? My default names for female characters seem to be variations of Terry ("Cult of the Butterfly," the swashbuckling fantasy), Elizabeth (Liza in Weaver's Shroud, Lizzy in an abortive mystery novel), and Anna (Anna in a long-trunked novel, Ana in The Taste of Magic). My default names for male characters are variations of Christopher (Kristof in The Weredeer), Robert/Robin (Robin in "Night Court," Robbie in "Never Be Alone") and Thomas ("Final Episode," Bell-Men).

18 comments:

Carrie Harris said...

Wow. I don't know how you keep them straight.

I don't really gravitate to particular names. I try to gravitate AWAY from names of people I know, because inevitably they think that I secretly want to sic zombies on them. Funny thing is that I named a character Kate, sicced zombies on her, and then signed with an agent named Kate.

Yeah, I had some 'splainin' to do.

Alan W. Davidson said...

The name game seems very perplexing at times.

K.C. Shaw said...

Carrie--Maybe that's why she signed you. Maybe she secretly always wanted zombies after her. Also, Kate is the best name.

Alan--Perplexing but infinitely fun.

BT said...

Cambry Dissel - it just popped into my head so I thought I'd throw it out there. Not sure about Tom Key either for what it's worth.

I had big problems with using the same names over and over last year. Sharon, Chrissie, Susan - they just kept cropping up. I tend to be very careful with them now. It's one of my favourite bits about writing - giving names that is.

K.C. Shaw said...

I have to be kind of careful about the last names in this book, since the characters go by a strict caste system and the last names reflect that. Cam and Thomas are both of the Sumner caste, made up mostly of public servants and the like--security guard in Cam's case and policeman in Thomas's. I do like the name Dissel, but it sounds a bit awkward with just Cam (which is the probem with Reeves too).

I could talk about names all day long.

Aaron Polson said...

Cam is awesome. Good pick. I'm "pants" at picking names.

K.C. Shaw said...

I don't usually have quite so much trouble as I'm having with this story, fortunately. If I did, I'd go completely nuts.

Natalie L. Sin said...

I am in love with gender neutral names for women. My parents have me a feminine name, which I never use outside of writing, and I think I'm compensating! *lol*

The exception being that for awhile I wanted to name everyone Ruby. You can only use a name like that once, and I ended up creating Ruby Tam : )

Cate Gardner said...

I want to call all my characters Lily - even the boys. I love that name.

K.C. Shaw said...

Natalie--Ruby is a great name. Obviously, since I used it. :)

Cate--I love the name Lily! I've used it once or twice, but I don't think it's in anything published.

Jamie Eyberg said...

I still stink with names. Nothing has changed for me. I do like Cam.

Carrie Harris said...

Lily is one of my daughters, so don't you be siccing any zombies on her. ;)

Horror Girl said...

I ususally just use a boring name. But like Carrie, I try to stick away from names of people I know, because this means whenver I go to write, I think about the person and not the character.

So usually my biggest problem is when I realize I'm using the name Alice for the third time.

K.C. Shaw said...

Jamie--I like Cam too. It fits her. Of course I realized last night that Cambry sounds a lot like Camry--but hell with it. I'm tired of fussing. :)

Carrie--I'd have thought your daughter was already a certified Zombie Killing Technician. Or at least in training.

HG--I don't usually use the names of people I know either. I have a character in another WIP named Richmond that I may have to change. My brother's name is Richard and the name Richmond just sounds too close. It's icky because Richmond is the love interest in the book.

Anne Spollen said...

Ivy! Every middle grade idea I have involves a ten or eleven year old girl named Ivy.

I finally changed the latest one to Ava which is still not a really far cry from Ivy.

Good looking teen boys tend to be Nathaniel. I am creating my own cliches...

K.C. Shaw said...

My middle nephew is named Nathaniel, and of course he's a good-looking kid. :)

Ivy must be a really hot name for moms right now. It keeps popping up everywhere, just like Olivia. I really like the name Ava--it's a little unusual.

Jameson T. Caine said...

I keep wanting to name a character Hugh Jass.

K.C. Shaw said...

Go for it. :)