Monday, June 27, 2005

The Naming

Usually, it doesn't take me long to come up with names for characters. A couple of days at most. But for my latest story idea, the heroine's name is still eluding me, after more than a week. I've 'narrowed' down the possibilities - now there's only 26 on my list!!

The hero's name is Ronan. There may be a French/Breton/Celtic connection in the heroine's family. So, Ronan and...

Ghislaine Ariane Brede Ceridwen Grainne Damaris Eilis Eliane Elaine Emer Ruth Isabeau Juliet Kira Lianan Liane Liliane Lise Lissa Madelaine Maidlin Mara Mariane Marielle Mari Meg

???

I'm leaning towards Mariane.... or Grainne (although many people won't know how to pronounce it). But none of them are saying 'yes!'


And the really stupid thing about all this agonising, is that most of the time when I read a book, I don't remember the characters' names 10 minutes after finishing it. But when I'm writing, I have to get it right.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey Bron,
here are some Celtic Girl names
Raelin,Erling,Birkita

Claire Andrews said...

What about one of those names and a diminutive?

McVane said...

Oh, names! My favourite topic.

If her brother's name is Dominic, then it'd make sense for her to have a name something that line. Plus it's a romantic suspense, so perhaps it may be a good idea to have a name that most can pronounce otherwise it'd get in the way of suspense?

FWIW, Grianne [GAWN-ay, right?] is too famous as I instantly associated it with Diarmuid, a bit like Zeus and Leda.

I think Ronan is already an unusual name, so I think having the heroine's unusual name as well is a bit too fantastical, perhaps?

Eloise, Marielle [Mari or Elle for short], Olive, Juliet [but Ronan and Juliet makes me think of Romeo and Juliet], Maira, Audrey, hm --

... what's her surname?

CindyS said...

Just as a passer by I get what you mean about names. I never remember names unless I have read the book a zillion times, which of course, is what you are going for.

I didn't know how to pronounce Grianne until Maili and I would have been pronouncing it like it is spelled. I like the L names as it is not often you see them.

Good Luck and I hope a name comes to you soon!

Bron said...

Janice, thanks for those suggestions. They look a bit more Saxon than Celtic, but they're nice names!

Claire, nice to see you! Mariane with Mari as the diminutive is a strong contender just now.

Maili, you're right - I don't want her name to be too unusual because Ronan's is a little rare, but she's refusing to be anything 'normal'! Although 'Rachel' did occur to me as a possibility - and 'Maili' is a good name, too ;-) (But how the flock do I make the accent in my web browser????)

I've always pronounced Grainne more as Grannye - not sure of the proper phonetics. But I've probably read it more often than heard it pronounced, so I may be screwing that up.

And I have no clue as to her surname, yet. One thing at a time ;-)

Bron said...

Cindy, thanks for dropping by. I'm glad I'm not the only one who forgets the names of characters I've read! Interestingly, Karen Templeton's characters are amongst the few whose names I usually remember - maybe because her characterisations are so fantastic!

Anonymous said...

I tryed Bron, I went to Google for
Celtic Baby names and that's what they gave me!Sorry
jan

Bron said...

Jan, no need to apologise. I appreciate your suggestions! They are lovely names. While I'm no expert, I have an interest in languages, and studied French and Old English (Saxon) at uni - as well as snippets here and there of Welsh, Irish and Gaelic. Even before the advent of the internet, there were a whole lot of baby name books published that didn't really have a lot of connection with the actual languages and the internet has multiplied that. I gave up being a purist long ago ;-)

Most names have evolved, many have been translated, transliterated, adapted, invented - and there are many, many beautiful names out there that bear little relationship to their supposed 'source' - but that's okay.

It's the sound and sense of names that matter to me when I'm choosing names for characters; some of that may come from the language, but by no means all of it. A lot of it is associations in my head ;-)

Now, Erling... I can see her in a medieval .... :-)

Jill said...

LOL, I know the agony well. But if it helps, I love all your choices!

Kate R said...

just not gwladys, ok? Those names are tough Eithne, pronounced Enya. Shioban.


Good luck. I had some at last -- I finally managed to get the link to your disturbing vegianimals in my new blog right.

Bron said...

Hey, my mother's name is Gladys ;-)

Kate R said...

gladys is fine. Just not gwladys.

Bron said...

LOL - wonderful though my mother is, I wouldn't call a heroine Gladys OR Gwladys.