I Dub Thee...How To Name Characters

I'm in the process of writing Second Chance Bride, Book 2 of All Brides Are Beautiful.

Of course, some of the characters from April Fool Bride, the first book, appear in this new book, but there are new characters naturally.

A Rose By Any Other Name

That calls for names. Naming a character may be more time-consuming than you imagine.

You want a name that would probably have been used when the character was born. You probably wouldn't name a baby Hortense today, but in the 1800's that was a perfectly acceptable name for a girl.

You may want a name that indicates ethnicity. A native Japanese woman might be named Miko Higa whereas an American Japanese woman might be named Melnie Higa. America is the great melting pot so as the generations move on, "American" given names become popular.

Changed Names Can Stay The Same

Of course Americans who celebrate their ethnicity may include a name that is traditional. Or they may take the traditional name and an Americanized nickname.

One of my ancestors was a Choctaw woman whose name meant "morning" in English. When she converted to Christianity, she took the name Morning Amanda. 

You may want a name that immediately indicates power, prestige, or social status. The name James Robert Courtland III immediately makes you think he's some high muckety-muck probably born with a silver spoon in his mouth. A reader wouldn't think the same if he were named Jim Bob Courtland.

These are just some of the issues to consider when choosing a name for a character.  

Takeaway Truth

I spent a couple of hours last week creating names to go with the people in Second Chance Bride. When you read the book, you'll have to tell me if I nailed it or not.


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