Names...

So, I have never had tiny humans of my own, but I have had many many many fictional characters who I created (who all came into existence without any bodily fluids or screaming) and names are...well sometimes they are the hardest part of a novel. Just kidding, but it does come in close sometimes.

In Arianna's Honor, the prince changed his name four times. Four. Arianna started off by introducing herself. "Hello, dear author. I am Arianna Collins. This is my sword...and this is Prince Whatshisname who you are going to make me keep alive."

In my other books, Ali was always Ali, Sam was always Sam. Dillon for a while was something else for a while and her daughter, before announcing she was Lilly and telling me I was silly, was Jamie. The other characters have kept their names for the entirety of the series, for which I am extremely grateful because keeping track of that crew was chore enough.

The novel I am revising now was my NaNo in 2014, so three years ago. The names of the characters have been set in my mind for three and a half years...well, the female protagonist had to convince me her name was Madison, but I am pretty comfortable with it now. Ironically, one of the key character's names is the name of a friend I made in May of last year (and her uncle's name is the same as her fictional brother's name...weird). My male protagonist's name, I had no connection to one way or another, but it fit him...and now I know someone with his name and I can't say I am a fan of this person at all...but I do like my fictional person quite well...so the name stays if I can make it through...

Naming people is tough business...I give parents kudos...well, the ones who think it through...the ones who don't think it through, I hope they are setting aside money for their kid's therapy sessions. After 20 years of teaching, there are some names I will never ever use. After however many years of dating, the same applies...or at least I will be very careful which novels those names appear in...both categories may come in handy when I write one of my serial killer novels.