Thursday, September 10, 2009

Oh Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou ...

So, you've applied the bum to chair principle and you're working on the most amazing scene to start you off on your new novel. You're busy thrashing out the first lines when you come to a crashing halt. Your hero! What's his name?

What nationality is he? That should narrow it down, right? But no, that can sometimes make it even harder - especially when you don't speak the native language and haven't even been there on a holiday! I mean, being English speaking we all know we're not going to name our hero Nigel - but that's because most of us have actually met a Nigel. And if you haven't - trust me - going on my experience Nigel and tall, dark and deliciously handsome alpha male would be like drinking French champagne from a polystyrene cup! It's a no-no! Ain't gonna happen.

And that's when we say thank heavens for the Internet. Or actually, thank heavens for Google! Now we can go online, search for a baby names site and even find one that gives us the meaning of the name to boot! Ahhh technology ...

So who's your favourite hero? Well, it's no secret that mine is Mr Darcy from Pride and Prejudice. But what was his first name? Back to Google. OK so it's Fitzwilliam - not exactly a name you could use in a modern romance is it? And it means - son of William. Will-I-Am. No, that won't do!

Should you have the time or the inclination to look up Nigel, you'll find it comes from the name Nathaniel. Hmmm sounding a lot better already! And Nathaniel, means gift from God. So, unless it's a baby you're writing about ... back to the drawing board!

Sometimes I even choose a name to get me going only to change it a couple of times as the manuscript progresses, but mostly I spend hours on Google looking up meanings until I finally hit the right one! How do you come up with your names?

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