I seem to be not that good at naming things. I have two children and naming them was a hideous experience on the part of both my husband and myself. One that involved a lot of lists and arguments. Naming my books seems to be basically the same for me. It’s a hideous experience that involves a lot of lists and arguing with myself. I have a lot of friends who say it doesn’t matter what you name your book because the publisher will change it anyway. But that knowledge doesn’t seem to matter to me. I just have to come up with a name that works for me.
Most of you know that I just finalled in an RWA chapter contest with a book named Awaken the Devil. Naming that book was hideous too. For years I just called it Chandler, the heroes name. Then after much pain, bleeding, sweat and deliberation I decided on the name Dance With the Devil which was an incredibly perfect name because it has to do with a man refered to as the devil of Broadway and dancing. Dang I’m good. Then I discovered that gosh darn Sherrilyn Kenyon has a NYT best seller of the same name and I would have to change it. It took me another six months to come up with a new name. I’m just not good at that.
And, to be frank, I’m not a heck of a lot better when it comes to naming characters. I usually do a random crap shoot of names and use whatever comes out unless it makes me want to vomit. I know that I myself will not read a book with a hero or heroine who has a funky a## name and I wouldn’t expect anyone else to either. Unless I need a name that means something specific I’ll just use the first thing that comes along. If I need something specific I use baby name books. Like once I needed a Russian name that meant protector so I used my World of Baby Names book. (Grigory by the way, if you’re interested.)
Last night Emily Ryan-Davis linked us to a website called the Baby Name Wizard. This is a very cool site. It could help you name your characters but its also really fun to play with and put in your own names and those of your children and friends.
Try it. Even if it doesn’t help you name anything its pretty fun.