BioBooksAwardsComing NextContactBlogFun StuffHome

Thursday, April 08, 2010

The Name Game

I blogged earlier this week about all the characters I have in my head right now. Outrageous numbers, even for me, and there have been times in the past that I thought I was overloaded. That's nothing compared to now. The couple that's talking the most, though, hadn't shared their names with me. (Like I mentioned, I don't get to chose my characters names, they tell me who they are.)

This has changed since I wrote the blog. The hero went first. Only I didn't know if his name was first, last or a nickname. Yesterday, I found out it's his first name because he finally shared his surname. :-) Awesome. Only now, it started bugging me that I didn't know the heroine's name.

I had a mission--get her to share her name.

She gave me hints. Her parents are academics, they didn't pick anything trendy or created. Because both her parents are in the same field of study, I decided to look for famous people within that area of expertise. None of these names were right. I tried to push Tatiana because a woman with that name did pioneering work in the same area of the world her parents have an interest in, but the heroine would have no part of it. Sigh. Seriously, I get little to no cooperation and then they complain when I torture them? Just returning the favor, pals.

I tried a few other paths in her parents' area, but nothing panned out. I turned to next. This site is from the same people who put together the best baby name book (read that as CHARACTER name book) ever, Beyond Jennifer and Jason. (My characters choose their names, but they might say, "My name starts with an R" and then make me look through baby name book after baby name book until I see their name. Then I'll hear, "That's me." I like it better when I just hear, "Mika." It saves me a lot of work.) Anyway, one of the features of the Nameberry site is that they have lists. I started pulling them up, looking for the one my heroine would say was hers.

I tried royal names, classic names, headed to Harvard names. Nada. I must have gone through two dozen lists before I saw Zoe. Hmm. Not her name, she made that clear, but something was close. I went to another favorite site, Behind the Name, and pulled up all the female Z names. I got her!

After all the work she put me through, it was actually surprising how fast she shared her last name. I got that without any prompting at all. I liked that a lot. If only the whole process had been that easy.