So I’ve signed up (once again) to write for the Goodreads M/M Romance group event. This year it’s Love Has No Boundaries. (That’s my prompt, but you have to be a member to follow the link. Here’s the group if you wanna join.)
One of my early steps in creating a new story is naming my characters. I need a sense of them before I can name them, but then I need the name to hang the rest of the person on, if that makes sense. (And if it doesn’t make sense, it’s still how I work.)
Clicking about to find names I liked made me decide my MC’s great-great-grandfather was Wulf Cobb. So, Cobb. Yeah, I like it. Now a first name.
I wanted Colby. It’s a good name–solid, uncommon, but not odd. I like unusual names. I think the faster a reader latches onto a character the better, and a stand-out name is going to help with that.
Are you snickering yet? One thing about naming characters that I knew but had temporarily forgotten–you have to try them out loud. Together.
Umm…no. Also, did I really just try to name this guy after a cheese and a salad? I went and got a snack and hit the baby names sites again.
My guy’s a Texan, from an old ranching family. I went round and round, and finally decided I liked Colby more than I liked Cobb. So I went with Jessup. Colby Jessup. Yeah, that worked. Except…I’d already given another main character the last name Joseph because of Reasons, and I didn’t want to change it.
Winchester. Too obvious. Remington, Colter, same thing. Also, I couldn’t get colby cheese out of my head. So I ran through the history files in my brain looking for a name that could work for a ranching family that hasn’t budged since the Civil War, and I stumbled on Buchanan. I liked it, but not quite enough. However…it’s a Scottish name, and that gave me a place to look for more. Back I went to the baby names sites.
I’ll leave out the in-between, as it’s just more like that, and get to the final† name.
[redacted for content]‡, because his mother wanted him to grow up a fighter who never surrenders. Did the name fulfill its purpose?
We’ll see, won’t we?
†For certain values of final, possibly.
‡Whoops, would you believe I forgot I’m not supposed to tell the names yet?