Thursday, April 29, 2010

Cha cha cha, and cha

And not Cha-Cha, my sister. My sister's name is not Cha-Cha, it just happens to be what my grandpa called her.

I'm thinking more like cha cha cha, tap dance left, jazz hands, leg kick, cha!

Did I ever tell you my sister was in a traveling singing group? A youthful group, they were, full of jazz hands. That's really when I first became acquainted with jazz hands. Cha-Cha told me about them.

I never ask my family if I can write about them, I just do it.

So I've decided that I sort of hate the names of the two main characters in my book. Nothing really stands out about them. They are forgettable. Not that they need to be unforgettable, like Maurice (Hmm. Maurice. I like the sound of that) or Claudio or Shandreesa. But ... they sort of do need to be unforgettable. Sometimes I'll read a book, and months later, I won't remember the author's name but I'll remember the main characters' names.

That's good naming on the author's part.

I recently read an interview of Elmore Leonard, an entertaining author who often writes fiction about criminals in Florida. There is an FX show based on his book Fire in the Hole, called Justified.

Which, for starters, Fire in the Hole. Love it. And not only because I have a friend whose cousin once yelled "Fire in my hole! Fire in my hole!" at a group of firefighters in San Francisco. That is one of my favorite stories of hers.

But get a load of the main character's name: Raylan Givens. BAM.

That's a name.

Elmore says he was at a conference someplace, and met someone named Raylan, and immediately knew he'd figured out his main character's name. He places a lot of weight on his characters' names. Certain names won't do what he wants them to do. It just doesn't seem like a Rick or a Bob would do or say the same things Raylan would do.

I totally agree. Think about the most outlandish people you went to high school with. What were their names? I don't know if it's just me, but I remember that those freaks had some weird names.

I'm taking suggestions on names, you guys. Throw 'em at me. Fancy names, weird names, ethnic names, whatever. I've got a man and a woman in their late 20s who need names. The man hails from Texas and the woman is a Bay Area native. Have at it. Gimme whatcha got. I've got no prizes for you, other than a big fat thank you in my yet-to-be-published novel.


  1. Beau Bennett, Dylan Thomas, Scout Barnett
    Eliesse Phillips, Hayley Ross, Cherie Reid

  2. First 2 that came to mind...
    Brayden Bailey
    Sierra Johnson


  3. Jackson, Charlie, and Dylan Scott

    Summer, Audrey and Elsbeth.

  4. I really like the names Kem and Bryan. Or maybe Billy-Bob.

  5. Holt strikes me as a name of a guy from Texas. I have tons of name books if you want 'em. :) How about Iggy? Hahahaha.

  6. Decklin. The End.

  7. Billy-Rae, Rodrigo, Everest, Magic (nickname), Brent

    Samantha but her friends and family call her Sam.

  8. These are some really good ideas for names. You'll all be thanked ANYWAY (no promises that anyone will want to publish this POS) but I'll let you know what the final decision is on the names before then, of course!

  9. Saw an author's name and thought it would be cool for your dude: