Girls Write Out
Thursday, July 12, 2012
Names mean a lot.  I was musing how Kourtney Kardashian, trying to break the "K" curse had named her daughter Penelope.  Because that is the long-suffering wife of Odysseus, I wonder if that name isn't a harsh sentence.

I named my son "Jonah" and one time I was at the San Francisco Zoo and this mother and I were both yelling, "JONAH!" At the top of our lungs.  I looked at her and said, "Rethinking that name, aren't you?"

I mean, sure it means dove.  As in gentle as a dove.  But he was also a defiant prophet.

When naming characters, it can be a battle in itself.  My new heroine, "Daphne" is a perfumer.  I really loved the symbolism of her name -- she is turned into a laurel tree in Greek mythology.  Since my heroine is left at the altar, I loved the concept of my heroine commiserating over her name.  That perhaps her parents had cursed her by naming her something that was beautiful to look upon, but not be loved.

Wouldn't we all wonder what caused us to be unlovable when left?  There are some characters whose name can be interchangeable, and then there are those who I just see as, say a Daphne.

Have you ever thought a character's name didn't fit her?  Remember, before editing Scarlett O'Hara was Pansy O'Hara.  Lot of power in a name.

posted at 12:08 AM  
  Comments (4)
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At 7:46 AM, Blogger Timothy Fish said...

Speaking of interchangable names, I once had an Awana kid whose mother had told him that his name, Josiah, meant the same thing as Jesus. So, everywhere he saw Jesus, in the verses he was supposed to memorize, he replaced it with Josiah. He wasn't too happy when I told him we weren't doing that.

At 9:42 PM, Blogger Mary-Louise said...

I've read some books where the names didn't fit the characters, as evidenced by the fact that I cannot remember what those names were. It was hard to finish the book, because either I couldn't pronounce the name - or it was just so wrong for the way the character acted.

It pays to spend some time thinking that part of the writing process through, no? A disappointed reader is a non-returning one....

On another note: my girlfriend named her son JOB, but they spell is JOEB - that way he doesn't have to go through life as a job.

At 11:26 PM, Blogger Rachel Overton said...

And if Scarlett had remained Pansy, I wonder if we would still call someone who was weak or effeminate a pansy. LOL

At 8:57 PM, Blogger Kristin said...

Rachel, interesting to think about that.

Mary-Louise, your friend is asking for trouble. All I can say is WHAT? LOL

I like the name Josiah. Didn't know that about it!


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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