Choosing a Character’s Name…or Why I Wish I Were an Only Child

In the first book I’m writing I had to go through the inevitable process of choosing the characters names. It seemed easy enough.  Google baby names and chose one that fits the character.

Not quite.

First a little background about me.  I come from a very large family.  Seems my parents were very fond of each other.  Very.  As we grew into adults and had our own families, all the decent names in the baby books were taken.

My younger sister in particular stole all the good girl names.    I was really leaning toward Gabriella as the heroine’s name.  Pretty, European…you can say Gabby when you’re informal.   It could be sexy one minute, then playful the next. The perfect name.

Until you write a sex scene.

The feeling of ick overwhelmed me. I couldn’t write my sweet innocent niece’s name into a sex scene.  It was wrong.  It was so wrong…and not in a good way, wrong.  A total turn off for me.

I spent the rest of the day back to square one…googling girl’s names until I found one that had no direct relation to me.

It wasn’t any easier when choosing the lead male’s name.  I had to cross out my brother’s and brother in law’s names immediately.  Then move on to cousins.  Then to ex-boyfriends (I’m not giving any of them the satisfaction of making it into print in my book)

I finally chose two names that I’m fairly certain have no personal relationship with me.  At least I hope they don’t.

So my characters can happily have all the sex they want, if they chose…now that they’re strangers to me.

When I started this project, I thought the hard part was going to be the story itself, developing the characters, the plot, the conflict, a resolution…there’s a  million directions your thoughts are pulled when writing a story.

But it looks like I’m going obsess over every minute detail.   And that’s okay with me.

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