Guess who? We have Jennifer Shirk here today! Yay! Let’s talk character naming!
I talked about this subject this time last year, and I thought it was so interesting, I figured I bring it here for cool discussion.
A few things struck me as I picked up yet another romance novel that had Jack as the hero’s name.
1) It’s a GREAT name for a hero. (I confess I used the name, too, in a story) and
2) Romance writers don’t really like to mess with what is already deemed a good, strong hero’s name.
It’s kind of funny how we romance writers have no problem seeking out extraordinary heroine’s names, though. I’ve seen Wanda, Sierra, Prudence, and even Tandy. But when it comes to male hero names, we tend to stick with old standbys like Jake, Sam, Keith, Mike, Matt, and Nate. And of course, Jack.
(I’m over generalizing a bit here, but stay with me anyway)
Why do we contemporary romance writers linger around these names so much? I think it’s because a name carries an IMAGE. And we all want our hero to have the image of being strong and masculine. We don’t want our heroine to fall in love with a wienie. So we don’t want a wienie name for our hero.
But what about the in-between names? The names that go beyond Jake but don’t quite reach the Roark, Tyler, or even Brent Alpha-unique level. I’m talking about names that according to one baby name book are in “fashion limbo”.
Why don’t we see these names more in books? I have to say I’ve met some REALLY hot, fun (and young) Vince, Walt, Len, Jay, Grant, and Glenns in my life. But can an author convince a reader of that? Is it possible to break the image barrier with these names? Well…I don’t know.
(I am trying, though) My hero in GEORGIE ON HIS MIND is named Walt.
I write more lighthearted reads, so I think if a writer writes romantic comedy she might have a little more reader forgiveness if she uses a borderline name, but of course I could be wrong. The point is I love a good challenge!
Have you or would you use any of those fashion limbo names for your hero? What names have you liked for heroes that you’ve read?
Jennifer Shirk fancies herself a more prolific writer than she really is and has an unnatural tendency to use words like “fancies” and “prolific” when describing herself. Please feel free to check out her recent romantic comedy, THE ROLE OF A LIFETIME and GEORGIE ON HIS MIND—where she promises she didn’t use either of those words anywhere in her story.
Also, check out her BLOG anywhere blogs are available.
Georgie Mayer has no boyfriend and rarely goes out. In short, she needs a life. Since she’s graduated college and returned back home, her brother’s protectiveness has been in overdrive, and she hasn’t been able to have any fun, never mind get a date.
So what’s a poor particularly attractive girl to do in a situation like this? The only thing she can do: find him a woman!
He’ll thank her for it in the end. That is, if his best friend Walt Somers would stop interfering with her plans. The handsome pharmacist has made no secret that he doesn’t approve of what she’s up to. Unfortunately, having Walt hanging around does strange things to her mind, and suddenly she can’t help but take a healthy interest in him. But how can Georgie entertain thoughts of the two of them together when Walt still treats her like his best friend’s little sister?