The Name Game by Dalton Diaz

Ever wonder what goes into choosing names for the characters in our books? For some authors, the names have to be chosen to start the book. I know one author who has to have a title for the book, and changing that during the writing process throws her completely off course.

My process is, well, a process. I have to start the book and get a feel for the characters before I can settle on their names. Don’t get me wrong, names and titles are very important to me. So important, that I have to basically wait for the characters to tell me what they want to be called. That said, we do have an understanding: no names of ex’s or family members will be used. That’s uncomfortable, and depending on the character, can be downright gross!

I also like basic names and nicknames for my heroes and heroines. While I have been known to turn their names into jokes or a parody a time or two, there will be no heroes with He-Man names or Heroines named after deadly plants or weather patterns. After all, Hemlock isn’t supposed to be eaten, and who would want to touch Poison Ivy?

After the book has been written, it is entirely possible that names and titles will be changed if it is not a self-pubbed book. That’s usually fine. It’s during the process that I have to feel the name connection to the characters. Just don’t expect me to remember the hero and/or heroine’s name if it has been changed. Hell, even if it hasn’t been changed. I still call my own children the wrong name.

All in all, the names of characters and/or a title shouldn’t stop you from reading a book. Unless one of those is the name of an ex or a family member and it’s downright gross…

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