How to Name Your Character

Let’s be honest…we’ve all been there.

Whether it’s being stuck on a character creation screen or agonizing over what your new book hero is going to be called, naming a character is one of the hardest things about creation. Do you go for something simple, or elaborate? What if the name you want doesn’t sound right or no one likes it? Just how many baby naming websites do you have to look up before you know you’ve found the perfect name?

Naming characters is hard, but it doesn’t have to stress you out. If you ever find yourself in a naming pickle, try some of these strategies to see if it makes things easier:

  1. Match your character’s name with his/her personality. When I was looking to name my main character, Edward, from The Ripple Affair, I sought out a name that would reflect the type of person he was. Edward is a guardian of the people he cares about, doing anything for them, and the meaning of his name (guardian or protector) fits that.
  2. Match your character’s name to his/her destiny or surroundings. Jacob Ichabod in The Ripple Affair is a knight destined to be ignored for his talents by the monarchy, which leads him to eventually betray his king. The meaning of his surname is “no glory”, and this reflects the struggles he’s going to have in the story.
  3. Match your character’s name to his/her culture or background. When developing the Recu people in The Ripple Affair, I knew I wanted their culture to be based on a Slavic naming system, so their names (such as Bohden, or Bohdan, as the original spelling is) reflects that.
  4. Match your character’s name to his/her time period. The 18th century popularized character traits and virtues for girls’ names. Being a woman of 18th century America, Charity from Captain Patty and the Boston Buccaneer needed to have a name that reflected the time period she was a part of.
  5. Go with your gut. Sometimes a character name just pops in your head and you know it’s the right fit. It might happen quickly or it might happen years down the road. When I was working on Captain Patty and the Nameless Navigator, I had no idea that Bateau was going to be a character until around 7 years after beginning the story. Before then, he didn’t exist. When I decided to add him, I had no clue what his name was, but in the back of my mind, the word “Bateau” kept repeating itself, like it sounded right. Keep in mind I spoke hardly any French at the time. After a few weeks, I decided to look up what Bateau meant. Sure enough, after looking up the meaning, I knew it was the right pick.

Whether you’re creating a game character or writing a story, naming a character can be tricky! What are some ways you come up with character names?

Advertisements

What an Author Show is Like

Hey, everyone! Sorry it’s been a while since I’ve updated the blog. Things have been busy lately, but thankfully, Spring is here!

Yesterday, I had my first author show of the year. It was pretty busy (despite the cold weather), and I got to meet a lot of awesome people! This is my third time at this specific author show, and every year it seems like it gets better.

But what is an author show like? I can tell you from experience that each show is different. Some are successful, some aren’t, and some, well…it just depends on the day and who shows up. But after a few years of attending, there’s some things that I notice pretty regularly that happen…

1. Be prepared to network!

Some of the most helpful people I’ve met have been fellow authors who’ve attended these shows with me. Through these shows, I’ve gotten to make new friends, join author groups, and get a general feel for how the market is doing in other genres. Author shows are a great way to keep up with the times and meet new people, so don’t be afraid to say hello to the tables next to you!

2. You may be asked a lot of questions on how you became an author.

Yesterday was kind of funny. I hardly got any visitors who were readers! In fact, many of the people who said hello were inspiring authors themselves who were looking for advice on how to publish.

3. You might be disappointed if sales are low, but that doesn’t mean the show was a flop.

Every show is different. As said before, some shows do well while others don’t. But just because you might not sell well doesn’t mean the show isn’t a success. I once went to a show where I sold nothing, but I did get to meet a lady who liked my books…and eventually put me in a local magazine.

4. You might actually have fun.

Let the fans get to know you, but don’t be so worried about impressing people that you forget to have fun. Whether it’s through conversation, meeting new people, or posing your puppet parrot in different spots to see if they noticed (I might have done that yesterday), you can have a lot of fun!

I hope you all have a wonderful week!

January Happenings

Greetings, fellow readers!

I’m so sorry that I’ve been slow on updating.  Things have been a bit busy lately.  Between my grandpa’s cancer surgery/treatment, extra hours working, and getting in a car accident (me + icy roads = hello, ditch), it’s been hard to even find time to write.  The good news is I have gotten some writing done, and I’m happy to say that Heir of Vengeance is over half-way through!

I’ll admit that writing it has been a bit bittersweet, though.  Both Captain Patty and The Ripple Affair are nearing their series’ ends.  (So far it’s one more book for the former and about two more books for the latter.)  It’s hard to believe that these two projects, started over a decade ago, are almost complete!  I’m happy to say that there are more stories (and series) on the way, though.  Once these two are complete, I’m hoping to get a Captain Patty spin-off story and a sequel series to The Ripple Affair.   I’m also planning some separate fiction that will involve different worlds, different characters, and even different planets (what can I say?  I like sci-fi), so I’m excited for the days to come!

I hope you all are doing well.  Keep watching the site for updates on Heir of Vengeance and any news on upcoming promos for my already-published books.

Have a happy week!

 

It’s Finally Here!

Sorry for the long wait! It’s been a busy time between sickness, finishing up edits, and caregiving. (I’m literally writing this from the hospital as my grandfather is having surgery at the moment.).

I’m happy to announce that Captain Patty and Veronica’s Vengeance is available for purchase on Kindle! I still have a few things to double check for the paperback, but that version should be following fairly quickly. I’ll post as soon as the paperback is available if you’re like me and like to read books the old-fashioned way. 😉

In the coming weeks, I’ll be updating you on what’s to come for the Captain Patty series as well as an update for Heir of Vengeance. Once again, I apologize for the wait, and thank you for being so patient! I’m hoping for some good medical reports for my grandfather (please keep him in your prayers).

For now, I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season!

If you want to check out the Kindle version of Captain Patty and Veronica’s Vengeance, click here!

This entry was posted on December 21, 2017.

Weekly Update – Finding Callida

I’m in the middle of writing Heir of Vengeance, and that means I have to start working on a new character: Callida Serus, Malina’s older sister.

When I first started planning The Ripple Affair over a decade ago, Callida didn’t exist. In fact, though Malina mentioned having a sister, she was never supposed to appear, remaining a blurb in a sentence for the entire series.

But you know how writing goes. Plans get thrown out the window and characters tend to surprise you.

Callida came about as I was writing the ending for Heart of Deceit. And now that she’s arrived, that means I have to figure out her character – her motivations, her wants, her strengths and weakness, her future. Let me tell you…that’s not easy when the character didn’t even exist until the fourth book was finished.

So this week (as I’ve been recovering from another flu bug), I’ve been spending some time figuring her out. I can’t say I completely know her as well as I do Edward, Bernie, or Malina yet, but she is getting there, and she’s already proving to be a nice contrast to her younger sister. I’m excited for you all to meet her when Heir of Vengeance is complete!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my American readers! Have a great week! 🙂

Weekly Update – 11/13/17

It was a busy weekend. Between selling my books at a show on Saturday (and getting a stomach bug the same day), and then submitting my edits for Captain Patty Book 3, I’m feeling pretty tired today! I’m still excited, though, as we’re heading into the final stretch before publication! It won’t be long now before Captain Patty and Veronica’s Vengeance will be released!

As I wait for the proof copy, I’m happy to return to writing more in Heir of Vengeance. Things are really starting to boil as Edward faces his greatest challenge yet! I’m half-way finished with the book, and I’m hoping by the end of the year it will be finished and ready for editing.

Well, I’m off to get working! I hope you all have a wonderful week!

This entry was posted on November 13, 2017.

Weekly Update – Reading Time!

As a writer, I don’t have much time to read anymore.  Between working, volunteering, and activities with friends and family, I hardly can pick up a book without having to get up and go.  But writing, as we all know, benefits from reading.  Not only does it allow us to study and develop our craft to make it better, but it also provides a great break from constantly staring at a computer screen and typing all day.

And so, in the midst of writing Heir of Vengeance and editing Captain Patty and Veronica’s Vengeance, I decided to set aside some time to read.  Typically it would be before bed after Bible devotions or during breakfast as I ate.  The first book I’ve set to tackle on my list is J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Silmarillion.  Being a Lord of the Rings fan, I thought it fun to read the history of Middle Earth (and so far it’s been really good!)

It’s been nice to take the time to read, short as it is during the day.  I almost forgot how much I enjoyed the written word, how it takes me to another world and puts me in the middle of adventure.  I may not get to read as much as I used to, but I definitely want to make more time for this fun and relaxing activity.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to read more of The Silmarillion!