When it comes to starting a new wip (work in progress), choosing proper names for characters is right up there in importance with profession and core beliefs. Distinctive, and properly chosen names can define characters, help establish their personalities, and bring appropriate word pictures to readers.
Baby name sites are helpful for this essential task, and abound the internet, classified by meaning or popularity or origin and most everything in between.
I’m certainly no expert, but in my opinion, single syllable first names for alpha hero males (think Rhett) play better and have more impact. Though Percy, as a name is nice enough, I don’t recall any romance containing an alpha male hero with the moniker Percy. To be honest, the word picture I receive from Percy doesn’t have a nicely clefted thin, piercing blue eyes nor the slightest hint of washboard abs.
That being said, I’ve found some characters, no matter how heart stoppingly sexy they are portrayed, can have a negative effect on a reader. This reader, at least. My first and favorite historical romance is the epic Shanna by Kathleen Woodiwiss. Though a fabulous, and well written novel, the hunky hero’s odd first name, Ruark, stopped me as a reader every time.
When properly chosen though, again in my opinion, derivatives of a character’s name can have literary uses as well. (Not that I’d dare compare myself to the great Ms. Woodiwiss, here goes.)
In On The Surface my latest release from The Wild Rose Press, the alpha hero is named Brad short for Bradley. An extremely popular name that, according to one source denotes a no-nonsense quality of masculinity. Of English origin, Bradley officially means broad clearing in the woods. In Welsh, the name means Treason, of all things.
For my purposes, Brad is a tough cop turned badass bounty hunter who has his unrelenting sights set on using a fugitive’s unredeemable girlfriend to get his man. Too bad an admonishment from the foster mother who raised him intrudes on his conscience.
Don’t be too quick to criticize people, Bradley. You never know what trials life may have dealt them.
Has the name of a character in a book ever kept you from enjoying it or, on the flip side, made you enjoy the read even more?
My days to blog here are the 11th and 23rd. For more about me and the stories I write, please visit my website
Oh, and come back on the 23rd for more Character Name musings. Secondary #CharacterNames Are Every Bit As Important