Friday, November 11, 2011

WHAT THE (*#^% KIND OF NAME IS THAT?

RaShelle Workman ROCKS!

And today, I have the honor of hosting her on the release date of her book, EXILED, part of the Dark C.A.R.M.A Tour. Rock on, RaShelle!

Names for the characters in our novels are important (or not - LOL). They may represent a time in history (Abraham), be mythological (Venus), or be symbolic.

When I first wrote EXILED, the male MC"s name was Ethan. An awesome name. I loved it. But in the course of three months I read several books, and in six of them the male MC's name was... GUESS??? Yep, Ethan. So I changed his name to Justus. Loved the name. Loved what it stood for. I thought to myself, oooooh, I'm being all symbolic. Then I read the story out loud...

The female MC's name is Venus. The bad guys name: Dervinius, and the other male MC's name: Zarus. Can you see the problem? Every one of their names ends with US. OYE!!! So I changed the names again... And ended with Venus. Michael. Dervinias. And, Zaren. Aaaahhhhh, much better. And, and, Michael's name does have symbolism. SCORE!

What about you? When you write or read a novel, do character names matter to you? How do you go about choosing?

Bio:
RASHELLE WORKMAN lives with her husband, three children and three dogs on a long, unwinding road. When she gets a quiet moment alone, she enjoys reading about faraway places. And, in case you were wondering, yes, she does believe there is other life out in the Universe.


EXILED Book Summary:
Stubborn, sixteen-year-old Princess Venus of Kelari wants one thing, to become immortal, that is, until someone exiles her to Earth, kills her irrihunter and takes her family.
Now she wants revenge.
First she’s got to get home. But before she can return to Kelari, the Gods have commanded her to help an arrogant boy named Michael find his soul mate.
Only she doesn't know the first thing about love.
Rather quickly, her inexperience with human emotion is obscured by other matters—alien-controlled psychotic teens that are out to kill her, and a government group that is set on capturing and dissecting her.
Worst of all, Venus will suffer a painful death-by-poisoning, thanks to Earth’s atmosphere, if she remains on the planet longer than one week.
Still, Venus is a Princess and she's got a plan. Surely, with her help, Michael will fall in love with a human.
But time is running out and Michael is falling for the wrong girl—her.



Available through Polished Pen Press in cooperation with Literary Underground Purchase on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.

Visit RaShelle at her Website and Blog and on Twitter

Questions? Answers? Be sure to tell RaShelle she ROCKS!



98 comments:

Jessica Bell said...

Go RaShelle! Best of luck with this! :o)

Tonja said...

I think names are really important. Last names are much more difficult.

Ciara said...

I had to change a character's name in my novella, Love's Long Shadow, because his name meant buggers in Australia. No joke.

Natalie Aguirre said...

So interesting to hear how you realized the problems and changed the names. Your book sounds really interesting. Good luck with it RaShelle!

Civil War Horror (Sean McLachlan) said...

Nice point about names. I recently made a last-minute edit to my upcoming novel because a minor character had the same first name as a more important character. Not really a big deal, but they are mentioned within a few paragraphs of each other. When driving your reader through the plot, you don't want even the smallest bump on the road.
Great cover, by the way!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sean, well put!

I've not had to change names, but that's due to the fact I don't assign names until the end.

Medeia Sharif said...

I've also had to change similar sounding names.

I look forward to reading my copy of Exiled.

Happy book birthday to Rashelle.

Rusty Webb said...

Oh no! I forgot the name of the movie. The one where the guy goes to the science fiction/fantasy writers workshop where his favorite author is the instructor. Anyway, it had a hilarious bit about names.

Take a good name and add a suffix like 'onieus'' to it.

Pete + onieus = Petonieus

And that's where awesome names come from.

Journaling Woman said...

Names are very important. A well named character can remain in a readers mind for...well...ever.

good luck on your new book.

Teresa

Jemi Fraser said...

In the first story I wrote, both the male and female MC's names started with the same syllable. I didn't even notice it until a crit buddy pointed it out. changed it quick!

Marta Szemik said...

I had to change one character's name in the first novel. The rest come from my family and names I loved from tv showes when I was a teenager (ie: Xander from Buffy the vampire slayer). The third book I'm working on now, the names were easier to pick and are pretty cool: Painly (MC female), Hunter, Ty (short for Tybalt). I love picking character names, but it doesn't always come easy.
You've picked some great names RaShelle!

Melissa Bradley said...

Yay RaShelle!!! I hope Exiled reaches HUGE heights. Character naming is frustrating, amazing, fun and irritating. LOL I have a Baby Names book, but I also love to just try different combos of letters to make up my own, too. LOL And of course one of my personal litmus tests is "will it sound good in the spicy moments?" "Oh Inglebert" just doesn't sound very sexy. ;)

Susan Fields said...

That sounds like an exciting book! I love choosing character names. I try not to have too many that start or end with the same sounds. Sometimes I'll think I have the perfect name, and then an even better one will pop out of nowhere, so I do change them mid-draft sometimes. And my epic fantasy has a character named Ethan. His brother's name is Avery. I know real life brothers whose names are Ethan and Avery, and I just liked those names so I went with it.

kimmullican.com said...

Congrats! I love the cover art.

Amy said...

I'm constantly changing the names of my characters, like you I want them to have meaning.

Rashelle your book sounds amazing and I can't wait to read it! It's definitely moving right up to the top of my TBR list! Thank you Alex for sharing her! :)

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Good Luck RaShelle with your book I'm sure it will be a success.

Yvonne.

LynnRush said...

Love the names you ended up with. Especially Zaren. LOVE that!!!!! The book sounds really interesting and full of adventure. It's hard picking out names, isn't it?? It's fun to find some with hidden meanings, too.

Isis Rushdan said...

Congrats, RaShelle! I take the time to research the names of my characters to ensure they have meaning or are symbolic (for the main ones), and then I ensure the others simply fit.

My mother made sure my siblings and I all had names with meaning so it's important to me.

iZombie said...

Good Luck RaShelle! Happy Friday!

Jeremy

~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

Awesome premise -- this looks like a great read. Thanks for the heads-up!

L.G.Smith said...

I just love the cover of Exiled. So beautiful.

And, uh, the male MC in my novel is named Ethan. I think I might need to change that. Seriously, I'm changing it today.

Jeffrey Beesler said...

One trick that's worked wonders for me is to morph two names into one. For example, Emma and Rebekah merge to form Embekah.

Old Kitty said...

RaShelle truly ROCKS!!!! She's gorgeous! Take care
x

Nisa said...

Names definitely matter. Sometimes I don't take the traditional route, though. I create names of my own and give them meaning, if that makes sense. Great post! I'm so excited to read Exiled.

Charles Gramlich said...

I've had that problem with names myself. And when you change one the others often become a problem because of how they sound together.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Rusty - clever!

Jemi, in CassaStar, both main character's names started with the letter B, but they were different otherwise. I left them as is and no one requested I change them.

Melissa, Inglebert is funny!

Susan, that works!

LG, no pressure!

RaShelle Workman said...

You all are so awesome! Thanks for the well wishes. =D

And Alex, you so ROCK! Thanks for hosting EXILED on its book birthday.

danjor21 said...

If I were to ever write a novel...which is highly unlikely, I would probably use the names of real life people! Now that's creativity! Amiright?

Matthew MacNish said...

Hah! That would be a lot of -us-es. Personally I probably spend way too much time on names. I'm obsessed.

Tyrean Martinson said...

RaShelle- Love your post, and congrats on your book! My character names drive me crazy too. Currently for NaNo, my MC's name is Leander. I seriously dislike the name, think I should trade it out for something symbolic, but when I'm going for 1700 words I just can't seem to find the time to look for a better name. I'm afraid I'll just keep it - at leat until the second draft.
Glad to know I'm not alone in the name game with characters.

Jamie Burch said...

Names are very important to me and I'm always taking note of the different ones in the books I read. Your story was funny! Glad it all worked out in the end.

Can't wait to read Exiled!

Congratulations on your book release, RaShelle!!!

Suze said...

Michael is a sympathetic and appealing name. Personally, I prefer it to both Justus-- large margin-- and Ethan-- small.

Good luck!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

RaShelle, the honor is all mine!

Danjor, that works.

Tyrean, change it when you're done - just keep writing.

Suze, Michael is also Biblical.

Jules said...

Nice to meet you and best of luck RaShelle. Anyone with 3 dogs rocks :)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Regina said...

Can't wait to read it. Best wishes. When it comes to names, I have hundreds written down. I just find different things that appeal to me and jot them down for future references.

oceangirl said...

I like all the names of your characters and the seem to fit!

Brinda said...

Sounds like a great book! At one point in my writing I discovered that most of my characters' names started with the letter A or M. :(

Eve.E said...

Best of luck RaShelle. Characters names are so important as most of the time I think it's the name that makes the character......Great cover art too x

Stephen Tremp said...

Hi RaShelle, having a unique name for the MC is important. Some people think I named mine after a bank but not so. Good luck to you and with Exiled!

Ann Best said...

Names ARE important. I recently changed one in a story because it sounded too much like another one.

RaShelle's book sounds wonderful, and I wish her great success with it. The cover is definitely eye-catching!
Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror, A Memoir of Shattered Secrets

Michael Offutt said...

I honestly don't think I would have a problem with the name Ethan. Sometimes I wonder if as writers, we nitpick our work to death behind closed doors on issues that readers would never think about. I just want to say that the cover for this book is riveting. I plan on reading and reviewing it. Congrats on your success :)

cestlavie22 said...

Looks like today is a day where everyone is trying to get me reading again lol!!!

julie fedderson said...

A good name is important, especially if your character is like uber-powerful or godlike. Because no one wants to read about Earl, god of love.

Mark Noce said...

Lol, I love the turmoil of revising names, it's very human and very much a part of writing. Neat story:)

Leovi said...

Exiled seems a very interesting book. In Spain we had a very illustrious exiles. I wish you a happy weekend.

Lydia Kang said...

This book looks amazing! I love the cover.

Tara Tyler said...

i try to have variety. but i didnt even notice that i had 3 characters whose names began with N. My wonderful beta reader kindly pointed this out to me. thank goodness! all those Ns were confusing!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Brinda, I had several that began with B. I'm sure you think that's cool though.

Stephen, I thought you named him after a Visa card...

Michael, I don't spend long on names.

Julie, what about Jeff, the God of Biscuits?

Tara, both of my main character's names began with B, but it worked.

She Writes said...

Good lesson about those names!

Maurice Mitchell said...

An interesting twist on the Venus story. As for the name I always wanted to make a comic book using the name Gustuvus Anarky, but I couldn't figure out if he was the hero or the villian.

Southpaw said...

I absolutely love this cover. I've said so before, but I'll keep saying it.

I do know what you mean about names. it's tricky to get the right one and they all sort of have to go with each other too (in that that are distinguishable form each other).

Rekha said...

I love the cover art...and the story is interesting...good luck RaShelle.
Since most of us have names which mean something, makes sense for me to have character names that are symbolic.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

It takes planning to get the name just right. Love the cover art for this book.

Christopher Hudson said...

There once was a boy named Sue ... he was one tough son-of-a-gun.

Rebecca Shelley said...

I'm working on a book now where the main culture is based on ancient Mohenjo Dar. All the names are Hindu. Seemed like a good idea at the time, but I'm having a devil of a time spelling them.

Lynda R Young said...

Names give me all sorts of headaches. I've changed the MC's name of my current novel about five times so far. I'm sure I'll change it again. lol.

Best wishes for Exiled. I'm looking forward to reading it.

Ella said...

RaShelle you do Rock! I hope this is a super fab day! Great post to get our creative thoughts flowing...
Congrats!

M Pax said...

Yea, Rashelle!

I can't remember a name I had in a story now, but when I read it aloud it didn't sound at all the same ... almost like a bad joke. So, the name got changed.

Carol Kilgore said...

Good going, RaShelle. You rock!

I'm on the list for a Kindle Fire. When it comes, this will be a book I'll order - end of November.

RaShelle Workman said...

I'm so very grateful for all of the will wishes. I want to hug each of you. Thank you! Thank you!

You know you all ROCK!!

Thanks again, Alex!

Li said...

Ugh, names are my downfall. I really struggle with them. Sometimes I hit on the right combo, and they're meaningful - other times I give up and go with the name of my 5th grade teacher, the garbage collector, or the stereo components. (Denon actually sounds kinda cool).

Donna Hole said...

You rock Rashelle :) congrats on the release.

Yeah, names are important to me. I've had to change several of mine; I somehow end up using variations of Amy and Cal - my two MC in my trilogy - in just about every new story. Guess I'm just stuck on those names . .

You've got great names for your characters; they sound intriguing and bring vivid imagery simply reading them. Well done :)

.......dhole

Angela Orlowski-Peart said...

Names are important to the story. I remember reading The Hunger Games and thinking that the author did a great job with the names. I don't think the story would be the same with Mary and Jack, or Lisa and Bob as the main characters.

The Golden Eagle said...

Hooray for RaShelle!

I really don't like it when I find a book with the same name as one of my characters . . . I know with proper characterization it doesn't matter as much, but I don't like that much similarity. :P

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Maurice, could go either way...

Christopher, with that name, he'd have to be tough.

Rebecca, that's funny!

RaShelle, you are more than welcome.

Lisa, I think it does sound cool!

Angela, no one should name a character Bob...

Golden, if you're writing science fiction, I'm sure that doesn't happen often.

msmariah said...

Thanks for sharing Alex. As always you wonderfully share other writers work.

I don't think you're missing out on the Immortals. I was very disappointed. The scenes with the greek gods were pretty cool though.

Donna K. Weaver said...

It's awesome of you to host this. Can't wait to read these books.

Pk Hrezo said...

So true with the name thing. I had to change names in my last story because of the sound as well.
Exiled sounds like a great read!

GigglesandGuns said...

First, congratulations to RaShelle!!

This really sounds like a fun read for a Sunday Afternoon.

The name thing can be a bummer when your emotions get in the way.

Pat Tillett said...

Congrats on the book and thanks for the great post!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

MsMariah, I'll just wait for NetFlix then.

Karen Lange said...

Thanks, as always, for the info, Alex! Have a great weekend!

Patricia Stoltey said...

Very enjoyable post, RaShelle and Alex. Character names do matter. Too many characters whose names start with the same letter or whose names rhyme confuse the reader (at least if the reader is me).

RaShelle Workman said...

Thanks guys. You rock!!! =D

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Names can be tough. I've found I change mine a lot from the beginning of a project to the end. Best wishes with your book!

Nebular said...

RaShelle rocks indeed. ;) And the trailer of her new book is absolutely stunning.

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

What a fantastic cover, RaShelle! I love the name Justus. (Very cool!)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Patricia, I bet I confused you then...

George, yes it is!

Arlee Bird said...

I think character names are very important as they can be very distracting if not chosen wisely. I typically will chose pretty ordinary names that have a significance to the character I am writing about. In fantasy and intergalactic science fiction unusual names make more sense and yet should not be overly obtrusive.

Lee
Memoirist Ann Carbine Best visits Wrote By Rote on Saturday 11/12/11

Monti said...

Great thoughts about names for characters and a wonderful example of why names are chosen.

The book sounds awesome. Good luck with it.

Monti
http://marymontaguesikes.blogspot.com

anthony stemke said...

Workman's book sounds terrific. I think names are very important in stories because they help the imagination picturing the character. Murdoch for a villain sounds better than Johnson.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Lee, agree with you on those science fiction names.

Rhonda said...

I love the name Zaren! Thanks for the fun guest post. :)

Adrianne Russell said...

I like the idea of character names having symbolism. Now I just need to ask Tyra Banks why she named her main character Tookie De La Créme in "Modelland." There has to be a story behind that, right? :)

L'Aussie said...

All the best RaShelle. Love the cover of Exiled. I often google names from the culture I'm writing about. Interesting that Ethan is so popular. Justus is good.

Denise

Talli Roland said...

Best of luck to RaShelle! I do think names are important. I hate it when to many start with the same letter. Argh!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Adrianne, we hope!

Life 101 said...

Hey Alex, your book is on deck now. I had several that I was already reading when yours shipped.
I'm looking forward to reading it.
Rick

Tracy Jo said...

Beautiful cover and I love the music in the trailer! Just added this one to my wish list on Amazon. Thanks Alex and great job RaShelle!

Jasmine Walt said...

Wow, that sounds like a really good book!

As for names, they are important, and I'm chewing my nails over the names of several characters in my world. The MC of my current book is named Arabella, and there are two other characters named Aris and Alleyne who are to be main characters (and Alleyne is a supporting character in other books)-- but they all start with "A"! I seem to have a liking for "A" names, but I may have to change them. But I really like them-- hence the chewing of fingernails. :o

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Rick, thank you! I appreciate that.

Jasmine, the two main characters in my first book had names that started with B, but they were different enough that my publisher didn't ask me to change them. However, three names that begin with the letter A might be confusing...

A Daft Scots Lass said...

Visiting for the Blogfest but yer post isn't up yet. I guess I'm a wee bitty early. I'll pop back later.

Mark said...

Interesting post and congrats to RaShelle!

Alex, if you don't assign names to your dudes and dude-ettes until the end... how do you keep track...?

PS... Reading through my e-copy of "Campaigner Challenges 2011" and I found your "I-M-A-G-O" story... nice one!

Laila Knight said...

I've seen Exiled in a few blogs now. It's a book right up my alley, probably because it has a few similiarities to what I write. I'm getting it. :)

LTM said...

LOL! omg, RaShelle, I do this all the time. I went through a "J" phase, where it seemed like all my male leads had J names. Where did this come from? I don't know! :D

But that's hilarious about the "us"es. Can't wait to read Exiled! Hope you had a great release~ :o) <3

Karen Peterson said...

I love when character names are different or unusual, but I hate when it's not super obvious how to pronounce them.

You don't know how glad I was when I finally got to Goblet of Fire and discovered that JK Rowling had written in a scene in which Hermione teaches Victor how to pronounce her name.

Suze Reese said...

RaShelle, I'm so excited for your release! Can hardly wait to read it! I've done the name thing too. I had two main characters Jesse and Jeery. Don't know why it didn't occur to me before finishing the book how similar the names were. It's hard to change a name of a character once you begin to feel for them. BTW, my story is about a girl who visits Earth as well--except she's not exiled, she's on assignment. Here's to "Earth visitors" being the next big thing!

Steven Whibley said...

I'm in the camp of: Names ... meh, anyone will do. I usually pick from online sources. i.e. if there's a news article I might choose the journalists first name, and then find some random sound-director listed on the International Movie Database website, and use his last name.

I'm absolute garbage at making up original names.