Michaeline: Names from a Candy Shop

Gentleman offering two ladies in evening gowns some biscuits. Circa 1900, very gorgeous and rich. And delicious!

Champ Lefevre offered the lovely ladies his special hypnotic biscuits to go with their champagne. (Image via Wikimedia Commons)

Ah, the season of sugarplums (whatever those really are, LOL)! I dreamt I went to the local import shop, and dropped about $40 (US) on candy, and called it “research” for this blog. And one by one, characters began to pop up in my head.

Droog Bewaren laboriously picked and pitoned his way up to my dream plateau. My fantasy hero was dressed in furs, and his blonde beard was frosty from his breath. He told me a woeful story of growing up in the swamps of Gervuld, but then he received The Call to come to my cool, crisp plateau high in the mountains of his country. He managed to convey all that in about 10 words; Droog isn’t really a talker. He mostly brooded gloomily until . . . . Continue reading

Justine: The Name Game, Part 2

eight ladies writing, justine covington, fiction, writing, family names, romance writingLast Friday, Michaeline posted about character names and how she picks them. I’ve had a bit of a name conundrum myself, which I’ve been avoiding like an ostrich with his head in the sand, hoping it’ll all go away.

Okay, I exaggerate. My naming problem isn’t a big one. Susannah’s last name is Humphries. As I think about my next book (and the next, and the next), all of which are about other family members directly related to Susannah (and sharing the same last name), I realized that Humphries just isn’t a roll-off-the-tongue name. And, as my husband pointed out, it has the word “hump” in it.

One could argue that I’m either a) getting ahead of myself or b) planning well, but I want to have a family name that Continue reading

Michaeline: The Name Game

Alice in Wonderland with Tweedledee and Tweedledum

‘No way!’ ‘No how!’ Well, maybe, if Tweedledee and Tweedledum are what you are going for — two peas in a pod. (Tenniel/Wikimedia)

Names are such funny things and in a lot of magical systems, they hold a lot of power. When I start a draft, I need to have a placeholder name, usually, because I feel funny just calling a character Him or Her – it gets confusing when I start to meet more Hims and Hers in the story. So, I need a label. Sometimes, the character grows into the label, sometimes I stumble into the new perfect name for the character, and sometimes I have to spend a lot of time researching the name. A name has power, and I don’t want to do the wrong thing. For example, one of the villains in my earlier drafts started out with the name of George Brett. It was serviceable. George was a solid, good-ol’-boy name, and I thought that Brett had that air of sophistication to it. DeBrett’s is a famous registry of famous British people. But I did have a little niggle, and I think it was Nancy who confirmed my niggle – she said very cautiously something like, “Wasn’t George Brett a baseball player in the 70s?” So he was. George Brett morphed into George Diaz. And it was a better name. Mr. Diaz is a first generation American, fighting for his family and for his town. His wife, Janine Evans Diaz, still has that “oldest family in town” aristocracy about her, and I love the dynamic that the two of them have between them now. George Brett was just cookie-cutter town aristocracy; George Diaz offers a different experience from his wife. When choosing final names, there are at least seven things to remember. Continue reading