November 30, 2010

What's in a name?

I've always been a little obsessed with names. Not exactly sure why. It's just one of my weird quirks, I suppose. For instance, I've always kept a list in my head of names I'd like to give my future son(s) or daughter(s). In high school, I loved the name Avery for a girl and the name Aidan for a boy. And in college, I was fairly certain I'd name my daughter Danika and my son Hayden.

Recently, I've really come to like the name, Lane, for a girl. It's short yet sweet. A little feminine yet a little masculine. Plus, I could call her Laney for short! Too cute! I'm not even pregnant, but I figure it's good to plan ahead. But alas! When I told Justin about my new naming obsession, he merely shook his head and said:

"Uh, that name makes me think about Lane Bryant. So, no...."

Blast! There goes my hopes for a little Lane Richmond. Ah well.

Fortunately though, I thought of a Shiny New Idea last night for a YA novel (inspired by my recent ten-year high school reunion) and I needed a name for the female I've decided to call her Lane! Perfect! If I can't use this name in real life, then I might as well use it in a book, right?

So how do you name your characters in your books?


  1. I love naming characters.
    Sometimes I do a little research - something literary, or scientific, or historical, but sometimes I just have a "great" name that I have to use.
    And once in a while, I let my husband have a crack at it, by shouting out something like "Give me a name for a thirteen year old girl!"

    (And there is a Lane in one of my manuscripts that is stewing and waiting for revisions... but it's a guy, and he's not exactly nice... or exactly human!)

  2. Loved this post :)

    I have three kids and it was SO hard to name them. for some reason I find it really hard to come up with names. Even my charcters have very generic names and not necessarily ones I'd have on my favourites list :)

    so cool you can use your books to use your favourite names in :)


  3. Okay, my 1st grader has a little girlfriend named Layne Avery - no joke! I love picking characters names, though it sometimes becomes excessive how long it takes me. I love the name Meredith and that was the name of my first female protag ever. I still like Josephine too - with the nickname Joey for a little girl. How cute is that? Now I gotta figure out how to use it.

  4. I kind of hate naming characters, because I tend to overthink and second-guess myself. This time around, I'm not obsessing as much, and when a new character comes up I give myself thirty seconds to just pick something.

    I will one day have a character whose first and middle names are Tabitha Katherine, so that her friends/parents can call her Tabby Kat! :D

  5. I added myself to follow your blog. You are more than welcome to visit mine and become a follower if you want to.

    God Bless You :-)


  6. This is super weird because--no joke--just two days ago I found myself thinking that Lane is such a cute girl's name! So if Justin doesn't like it, is it OK if I take it? :)

  7. Lily, your manuscript sounds awesome! Hmm, I've noticed that Lane is actually a boys' name rather than a girls'. Wonder if I can break this trend? Haha.

    Nomes, now I'm curious to learn your kids' names! I have a feeling that my husband and I are going to have LONG conversations over baby-naming.

    Lindsay, you know a Layne Avery? No way! So cute! And I really hope you name one of your MCs Joey. Love that for a girl!

    Lynn, Tabby Kat! That's awesome. It'd be hilarious if she's allergic to cats or something. :)

    OG, thanks for following my blog! I've followed yours as well!

    Kristen, go for it! But if Justin ever changes his mind, we both might end up with daughters named Lane. Which would be awesome!

  8. I love naming characters! I'm very fond of perusing baby-name books and sites online.

    I think it took Steve & me 8 years together before we found a girl's name we both like for hypothetical-future-baby. It's Lila. And we both like Benjamin too.