Names are interesting because there is a history to them and how they have evolved over the years. Some names are newer than others like Haley, Riley, Tanner, and Hunter compared to Mary, Emily, John, and David.
I find that I don’t think about character’s names specifically before I begin writing a story, unless a name just fits a character. Then it’s one of those wonderful light bulb moments. I spend my time developing my characters first and then the name seems to follow. I think that when I try too hard to find that “perfect” character name, then I get stuck.
In my Emily Stone series, I had a little bit of trouble picking a name that would fit my heroine. I went through a list of names and they just didn’t seem to fit. I tried more hip and popular names you hear today and they didn’t work either. The name “Emily” conjured up an image of a wholesome, girl next-door image, but obviously I put a twist on that because she can kick butt when she needs to and does it often. Not to mention, she carries not one but two hidden firearms most of the time.
I thought it would be fun to find out what my name means, not using the urban dictionary. “Jennifer” is derived from “Guinevere” meaning “white ghost”, “white phantom” or “white wave”.
How cool is that?
I think all of those meanings would make great book titles. My last name “Chase” has been referred to as meaning “hunter”. So… Jennifer Chase is the White Wave Hunter or White Ghost Hunter? That sounds like a story about a surfer who’s hunting down the perfect wave or searching for a new reality show.
The name Jennifer hasn’t been around that long, basically since the late 1880s. Jennifer became very popular in the early 1970s after the novel and then the movie Love Story came out with Ryan O’Neil and Ali McGraw. Now there are many talented and beautiful actresses that have the name “Jennifer”: Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Jennifer Lopez, Jennifer Garner, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Jennifer Connelly.
It’s fun and interesting to find out what’s in a name. Take some time when you’re plotting out characters to find out what the names you’ve chosen really mean. You might be surprised what you come up with in the process.
Please share some of your character’s names and why you chose them.
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Crime Watch Blog: www.emilystonecrimewatch.wordpress.com/
Book & Crime Talk: www.blogtalkradio.com/jennifer-chase/
Books: Compulsion = Dead Game = Silent Partner = Screenwriting