My character’s names often change as a novel develops. Sometimes the original name just doesn’t seem to suit the way the character or their backstory develops.
There’s a theory called nominative determinism which speculates that your given name might define what you do in life. I don’t subscribe to that theory, but names do need to fit the characters.
I used the name Marcus in a novel recently, but you have to resolve the possessive suffix, either Marcus’ or Marcus’s. I would instinctively go for the former, but apparently this is a contentious point. I resolved it by changing his name to Martin.
Has anyone else experienced this problem?
For my current novel in progress all the characters have been given names from the Old Testament – no idea why, but it appears to be working and it feels ‘right’ for the story – for me at least.
They are Ethan, Abby (Abigail), Hannah, Isaac, Martha, Beth (Bethany), Daniel, Simon, Peter and Mary.
In my head there’s a connection between my novel, set 100 years in the future, and names from over 2000 years ago.
Does anyone have a better way of choosing character names?
It’s just a matter of getting those pesky little letters in the right order And there are only 26 letters in the alphabet – so how hard can it be?
Every now and then my mind gets sidetracked onto book titles and I hear potential candidates during everyday conversations. I ought to stop and write them down because I have usually forgotten them by the time I find a pen and a quiet moment.
Then there are song lyrics. There I am minding my own business, a song playing in the background, and I hear a phrase that sounds like a great book title. It even happens during supper parties, but as nobody else shares my obsession I try to keep quiet about it.
In a moment of desperation, a few years ago, I tried using an online title generator – that was as useful as a chocolate frying pan.
Here are just a few of the potential book titles I’ve culled from lyrics (I don’t claim they haven’t already been used).
Caught in the Race Belonging to the Living The First Time We Fell The Life Museum Dancing to Forget Blue World Everybody’s Watching Metal Thorns Restless Hearts Autumn Falling Terminally Pretty A Piece of Time One Thing in Common Suicide Blonde At the Drop of a Name Neptune’s Daughter Blinded by Daylight Flowers for a Wedding All the Time Fancy Things Dangerous Boys Magicians Never Tell Walking on Clouds Touch and Run Losers and Fools A Stranger’s Touch Lucky Girl Wasted Time Dreams About Tomorrow What Was Left Behind Ribbons and Bows Across the Sea What is Yours In the Name of the Past A Small Family Not for the Money Running Everday