Playing The Name Game
Sandra Ruttan, author of the acclaimed books What Burns Within and The Frailty of Flesh, offers readers a chance to appear in her next novel.
“If I have a daughter, I’ll name her Chrysanthemum.”
When my stepdaughter announced this the other day, what I said was, “Would you call her Chrys for short?”
What I was thinking was, Dear God, where did she come up with that?
This is why I don’t let the kids get involved in naming characters in my books, although sometimes it would seem easier than agonizing over it myself. One of the things I find most challenging is naming characters.
Naming a character can be very tricky. You’re meeting them as a person, with a history. I think babies often grow into their names, but when you’re dealing with a character that’s over twenty years you have to think about what suits their personality.
I spend a lot of time pouring over baby names books and online name sites. I’ll usually come up with a list of six to twelve possible names I like, and then start playing around with combinations.
Not only does the name need to fit the character’s personality, it also needs to sound okay with the other characters they interact with. As a result, sometimes I have to try a name out for a while and then switch it later if it isn’t working for me.
Now, it’s your turn to help me name a character. Enter for a chance to appear as a minor character in the third book in the Canadian Constable series, LULLABY FOR THE NAMELESS. Simply send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Name Contest” and answer the following question:
“Which police department do Constables Nolan, Hart and Tain work for?”
Send your answers in by December 1, 2008. The winner will be announced December 5, 2008.
For more information on how Sandra goes about the process of naming her characters and titling her books, go tohttp://www.dorchesterpub.com/Dorch/SpecialFeatures.cfm?Special_ID=2572.