Tuesday, June 21, 2016

What's in a name? by Barbara Edwards

Do you struggle to find the right name for your hero or heroine? I’m going to tell you some of the things I use to find the perfect name, OR MAYBE NOT.
I’m not thinking name when the plot jumps into my head. I might start with an anonymous he/she but I quickly find that doesn’t work.
So what have I learned?
I’m going to share a big secret. You character’s name should emphasize him, his attributes and personality.
For example: I name my hero Leo. 
Lets take a look at Leo.
For my story, Leo is the CEO of his own company. He clawed his way up through the corporate jungle to the top.
Leo has golden hair, thick and a little untamed.
Hie eyes are a golden brown that glow when he focuses on his enemy or his Love interest.
Leo is strong, build along the lines of a powerful predator,.
He stalks through the world.
Have you noticed what I’ve been doing?
Every descriptive emphasizes his connection to a lion.
Look up the meaning of your hero’s name and make a note so you can stay on target.
This can be fashioned to fit each character.
What other words can describe Leo?
This can be fun, but the biggest benefit is keeping your hero in character. He doesn’t speak, he growls, snarls, purrs. 
When he licks her skin, his tongue is rough and raspy.
His personality must always show his feline side. 
Remember cats can be playful even the big ones. 

i’ve been using this myself.
In Ancient Blood, my hero Cole has black hair and dark eyes and turns into a black werewolf. 

Ancient Blood (Finding Rhodes End Book 2) 
by Barbara Edwards 
Link: https://amzn.com/B0052NUR12
Lily Alban escapes her murderous stalker after his vicious attack leaves her with the ability to see auras. She finds safety in the tiny hamlet of Rhodes End where a stranger stands out like a red light. Only he’s right behind her. Denying her growing desire, she turns to Cole Benedict for help but discovers the man she loves is not a man at all. 
Werewolf Cole Benedict resists his attraction to Lily. He’s a botanist researching the healing herbs for a cure for Lycanthropy. He’s determined to protect Lily from her stalker as well as himself when in human form, but instinct takes over when he changes. 
They must use their extraordinary gifts to catch Lily’s stalker before he can kill her, but revealing their secrets can destroy their growing love or save them both.

“Lily?” His strong hands gently cupped her shoulders.
“Don’t, please don’t.”
She pulled away, fully intending to flee. Her resistance shattered, and she turned into his embrace. It was too late to escape. Pressing against his strength, she wound her arms around his neck and pulled him closer. His erection prodded her stomach, and she moaned. A heavy groan filled his throat as he lifted her from her feet. He kicked the bag aside as he sat her on the counter.
“I can’t wait,” he growled. His flaring aura spiraled with colors she couldn’t name. She caught her breath. One hand burrowed through her hair, keeping her still as he stepped between her thighs. “You’re all I could think about all day.”
Clasping her bottom, he slid her to the edge of the counter. With his lips claiming her mouth, he unbuttoned her slacks, than lifted her slightly to push them down and off.
The cold surface only made her more aware of his scorching heat. His rough denim pants scraped her inner thighs in contrast with the silky hair under her palms. Her pulse leaped, and she gasped. His male scent mixed with hints of the wild forest filled her nostrils. When his fingertip explored the heated moisture gathering at her juncture, she tightened her thighs around his hips.

Ancient Blood (Finding Rhodes End Book 2) 
by Barbara Edwards 

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Leah St. James said...

What a great technique, Barbara! Love the lion/predator theme. I spend a lot of time deciding on character names, looking for meaning in the plot usually, but I don't think I ever consciously associated the name with behavior. I love it! Ancient Blood sounds wonderful!

Diane Burton said...

What a great idea. I usually use baby name sites. As I scroll down the lists, I wait for name to jump out at me. (real scientific, right?) I'll use nationality name lists, too, if I'm looking for the right name for an Irish name, say. But weaving in his characteristics never occurred to me. Thanks, Barb.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Characters do definitely have to be given the right names or the rest of the story that revolves around them doesn't work. Loved your 'worksheet of words' surrounding your character, Leo. Best of luck. That's one exceptional excerpt.

Jannine Gallant said...

I had to name all the heroes and heroines for a proposal for my upcoming series before writing the books. Thankfully my pub wanted a few chapters before contracting because when I started writing, all the names didn't fit. So I changed them to match the personalities emerging. You use the opposite approach, and it's an interesting technique. Thanks for sharing.

Brenda Whiteside said...

How fun, Barbara. I tend to have names almost before my story. They may or may not be a play off their personality. I think when that happens it's almost an accident for me. A couple of times, when a minor character ends up with his or her own story, I'd wished I'd given a little more thought to the name. I'm very picky about my main character's name.

Alicia Dean said...

Great idea. Love this! Very cool how many lion descriptions you can attribute to your hero. Thanks for the tip!