Wednesday, March 3, 2010

What’s in a name?

The answer to that question is – a Hero.

Specially one who loves chocolate as much as we do.

In writing a romance novel, names are very important. A hero has to be strong to overcome all the obstacles and overwhelming emotions you’re going to be putting into his path. So everything about him has to SHOW his strength….even his name.

You want to know why I wouldn’t recommend a hero with a name like Albert, Floyd or Poindexter. Exactly, what images did you see in your mind when you read those names? Was Poindexter tall in your mind?
No, huh? Mine either.

Did you see a tanned God like man with muscles that didn’t stop when you read the name Albert?

O.K., how about a hot sexy pirate with a flowing head of hair? What? You saw my pirate Floyd was bald and FAT? Teheheehe ….
So, you see my point. You can’t name a sex pirate Floyd.

So tell me now, what do you see when I say the name … Dallas, Drake, Thor.

Do you see something like these guys?

How about Brett or Finn?

Is this closer to the image these names bring to mind?

Do you see sexy, strong minded men with sexy bodies? Men ready to sweep you off your feet and make passionate love to you on a moonlit beach?

Yeah, now this is what I’m talking about!

Strong names that give a stronger image to your reader. Names that will allow your hero to become what he needs by the end of your story.

The same goes for your heroines…Bertha, Clementine or Prudence isn’t going to make it in the minds of the reader. But a Meara, Priscilla and a Chantal will step off the page as a delicate yet strong woman who will make her goal.

Even if you’re not into the more unusually names like the ones I’ve suggested above there is still strength in some of the more common names over others.

Alex is stronger than Andy. Bob over Ben. Eric is more powerful than Elmer….see what I mean?

Another thing to think about when picking your hero’s name is matching his name to his nationality.
What do you see when you look at this picture? What kind of hero comes to mine?

Is this guy a BAD BOY hero? Is he Italian? Is he a tough guy that can be tamed by the right Heroine? Is he the lover you seek in your bed? When your story's hero is named this the guy you see in your mind as you read about Vinny's sexy seduction of Angie?

If your hero is Irish, don’t give him an English name like Scott. If he’s Irish your hero needs a strong Irish name like Sean or Kendrick. Be sure to know the history and where a name comes from before you tag your hero with a name that doesn’t fit his image.

It's all in the name.


  1. You are so right about the name thing. It is all in a name. I think what is important about names is the way it sounds when you speak it, in your mind first, off your tongue next. Man or woman... You want the name to be like honey and just linger on your tongue or in my our mind. It amazes me when I read a book and the name and characteristics stay with me even after I am done reading. You did give me the giggles though on some of those names! Oh... and you know, you talked about the hero... but the villain also needs the same attention with their name. Good or bad, you want that name to stick. Have a great day!
    {{{hugs to you honey}}}

  2. Fantastic post, Hawk! So true, the name is so important. I sometimes don't name a character until halfway through a book - it has to fit them! Thanks!!

  3. People should think about this when they name their children. I know it's hard to see a little baby and think THOR, but who's going to mess with him when he's six with a name like that?

  4. Ye god, where's my fan!! Great visuals, Hawk! I think naming characters is one of my favorite things to do, but darned if it can't get daunting. I like the more romantic names, myself.So I tend to pilfer the Mediterranean baby names for characters, if the story warrants it. Floyd brings to mind a crazy SoB (think Pink in Pink Floyd's the Wall). Still one can learn to love a name, Heathcliff, anyone? I'm sorry, the first time I'd heard that name, I thought of the fat, black and orange tabby. *giggle* That's a totally different picture than I think Emily Bronte had in mind, don't you think?