The Process–Names

I’m sitting here, plotting project three and figuring out my characters. I decided on a name for my Heroine, my annoying pain-in-the-ass antagonist guy, but still haven’t come up with a name for my Hero. So I thought it might be time to go name searching online soon, and a little shiver of excitement just ran up my spine. *Squeal!*

I love names! LOVE THEM!!! Naming my two babies was super fun for me. I had lists, spent hours looking in books and online, and talking to my husband about options. I’m sure I annoyed him to no end. And even though we knew we were having girls, I still had a list of boys names — and coordinating middle names! — just in case…yeah right! I knew I only needed girl names, but how could I resist an opportunity to pick out boy names?!

Seriously, I love writing, I love plotting out a new story, creating characters and settings, etc. And I love it when everything starts to come together into an awesome finished product. But I have to admit, I get seriously excited when a character needs a little help picking their name, because then it means I get to go name searching again. Ah, bliss… And, I don’t have to ask anyone’s opinion on the name either! Naming my characters isn’t like naming a child — no one gets to veto my choice! Woot!

So, I’m off to find some possible names for my hero. There’s that tingle again! Tell me, do you get excited picking out names for your characters, too? Or maybe I’m just weird. 🙂


About the author

Heather Thurmeier

7 pings

  1. Janet Walters says:

    Heather, I also like names and naming characters. I have a dozen baby name books on my shelf and when I start a name search I really dig in. I used to have a naming computer thing that was kind of cool but that was many computers ago. Naming my children was also fun. Picked two boy names and two girl names. Used three of the four since our last came to us as a four year old we didn’t want to change her first name but we did pick a middle name.

  2. Taryn Kincaid says:

    Me, too. When I find the name that’s just right, the character becomes fully formed for me. Recently, though, I was asked by a publisher to rename my hero. Because he’d become “Rafe” to me, the new name really took some getting used to!

  3. Shoshanna Evers says:

    I often will look at popular baby names from the year my character was born, and pick from that list 🙂 Not to be a downer, but at some point your publisher will have veto power over your characters names 🙂 On the bright side, while I’ve been asked to change book titles, I have yet to be told to change a character name. Have fun!

    1. hthurmeier says:

      Janet and Shoshanna, I used to have baby name books laying around, but I find looking online is a lot more fun. There’s a few good sites I like to hit when I’m deciding on names that always seem to have what I’m looking for. I just love the act of finding the right name for the character!

      Taryn and Shoshanna, Since I have yet *but soon, damn it! ;)* to be published, I haven’t had to deal with the veto power of the agent or editor. I did change a few names in my single title based on feedback I received from critique partners and family. I didn’t really mind the changes. Hell, I got to go name searching again, LOL! I do find I still think of a character in their original name, but slowly that’s changing to where they really seem to fit their new name. Honestly, if an editor or agent wants to change the character’s name or title of my book, that means they want to publish it, so I’ll be more than happy to oblige!

  4. Gianna Simone says:

    I love looking for names, I use the online sites all the time, though I do still have books as well. I used family names for my kids, so not much of an opportunity to play around with names there, but with characters, I have no limits! I have lists of names I like that I am saving for very specific characters, and so far, haven’t been asked to change any names at all. Although I did have to change both my characters’ names in my vampire tale, The Night Club. I wriote it before Twilight came out, but now I can’t call my heroine Isabella anymore. And Lucien, I was told by a very knowledgable editor at EC, was out because of Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter books. Apparently, Lucien is too close and overused. But I like what I’ve come up with since.

    1. hthurmeier says:

      Gianna, I can see why they asked you to change those names. Sort of sucks since you’d named them previously before the popularity hit. But in the end, you want YOUR characters to stand out, not be confused with someone else’s characters.

  5. Wendy Marcus says:

    I enjoy naming my characters, too. What frustrates me is googling the names to make sure I’m not using the name of a real person.

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