Friday, March 25, 2011

And Your Name Is? And Winners!

Every Friday morning I tell myself that I'm going to write this post and then it will go up early in the day. And then every Friday I end up remembering to write a post really late at night, so I apologize. I do have some good news though. Today (at the end of this post) I will be announcing the winners of the giveaway we were having. Now let's get to the actual post portion-

I'm not starting a new WIP right now, but I want to talk about character names.
When I get a Snappy/Sparkly New Idea (SNI) my idea never gives me names of characters. I get a concept in my mind and I get the characters personalities. But I never get the names.
One of my favorite parts of writing is finding names to give my characters because I believe that a name can make or break the story. That being said, I also change character names a lot- I'll probably tell this story later on.
I choose character names from baby books, name-search-websites that I find online, or I just hear a name I like and feel that it will fit my character. However, sometimes I can't have a character named what I want them to be named. I never want any character in a book I write to have the same name as another character in a book I've written. This is a problem for me because ever since I was little, I loved the name Roxy. I think it stems from my love of the musical Chicago. This means that in everything I write, I want to have a character named Roxy. As much as I would love that, it would also confuse me.

I've also had a name-association problem. In my current Work In Progress, my main character was named Lily and her dead brother was named James. This might not be apparent to some people, but once I realized this I had to change at least one of their names. Harry Potter's parents have the same name, so after I noticed that- all I kept thinking of was that they were married and that would be incest and I couldn't have that in my story because it's gross.
So then Lily became Lucy and all was well in the world of naming characters.

My name association problem has also helped me a little bit. I sometimes name characters after celebrities I liked when I was younger and the characters have a little bit of the same personality as who the actor once played in a movie. So it sometimes helps me think of that particular character could be like.

I think that the whole point of this post was that I wanted to talk about character names and how to find them and what helps and doesn't help me when doing so. But I just realized that I rambled a lot. SO. Main points of this post-
Baby Name books are key. Never name characters after dead parents in a popular book/movie series. Don't be afraid to change a characters name- they will still be themselves. Actor names spark great name ideas.

Now, time to announce the winners!

First place winner is....

Second place winner is....

Third place winner is....

Thank you so much to everyone who entered! We're all so happy you read YA Lit. Six!