Sunday, May 27, 2012

What's in a Name?

The Bard tells us that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. Ellin Dodge insists You Are Your First Name while Theresa Meyers (How to Use Backstory Effectively) urges us to find character layers in their first, middle and last names.

Using Theresa’s suggestions for layering for my latest WIP, I used numerology on my major characters and a few minor ones as well. I think I’ve succeeded in adding depth, but then another problem raised its hand and head-slapped me—hard.

Too many Ss.

I had a Storm and a Sebastian and a Shea. Then I added a shape-shifter whose name also started with S. Trust me, even though he’s a very, very minor character, his name had to stay as is.

Editors sometimes tell us that readers find similar names confusing, so I knew I had to do something before I submit the manuscript. Having done the numerology for layering of traits, I figured changing two of my S names to another name—Sebastian to Rolf, and Shea to Victoria—shouldn’t hurt the story or the characters and would also eliminate reader confusion.

That one’s a fingers-crossed hope.

And then up jumped another devil. If I use my heroine’s real first name (she’s mostly Storm) then my hero and heroine are Rolf Lauren.

So, would a rose by any other name still smell as sweet? I’ll leave it up to you.

BTW, just finished edits on my upcoming release from Ellora’s Cave. Hope to have a date for It Takes a Thief by next month.

Dee Brice
Erotic Fantasies Where Nothing is Forbidden 


jean hart stewart said...

Geez, names are hell to pick sometime. I think you gotta change Eolf or Lauren though. Some wiseacre is sure to have too much fun with that...Jean

Dee Brice said...

Yeah, Jean, I know. But I don't want to change it again unless I absolutely have to. I'm sure my editor--if and when I have one--will have some ideas as to what to do. lol

Fiona McGier said...

Yup, that's what editors are for!