Michelle Gable, Writer

Michelle Gable, Writer

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Naming Right(s)

October 20, 2013 , , , ,

I saw this graphic earlier today on Facebook and thought it was interesting:


Watch an Army of Baby Jennifers Take Over the United States

Most fiction writers spend a decent amount of time, at least at the start of a manuscript, thinking about names. I personally try to balance naming fantasies (e.g. what my husband immediately nixed when we were naming our own kids…oh yes Georgia I desperately wanted to name you “Honor”) and what is realistic for the person’s age/time period. I’m sure a Madison or two was born in the 70s but I do try to have the name match the year the character was born.

My modern-day protagonist in The Paris Apartment is April and she would’ve been born in the late 70s, which fits. I knew some Aprils growing up. Side note: she was initially named Rebecca but I changed it during a major manuscript overhaul for no other reason than I needed to “see” the character differently. I still love the name Rebecca, though, so maybe she will reappear at some point. As the historical protagonist was a living, breathing person that was a bit easier. 😉

Last names I get from friends of friends on Facebook. I scan friends lists until one jumps out at me. So if you are second degree separated from me on Facebook, perhaps your last name will show up! Admittedly, I’ve stolen both first and last names from people I actually do know, including giving April a brother named Brian (like me!) and giving another protagonist the last name of my college roommate.

When naming characters I spend a lot of time on the site Nymbler, which somehow sounds like a repository for sexual predators but is actually not. That’s how I found April, I wanted something with the same “vibe” as Rebecca. My current manuscript has a mid-40s woman named Jillian, and a 21 year old girl named Katie. Though that is my editor’s name, and my Katie does some pretty egregious stuff, so we might have to “explore other options” as it were. The above link is making me wonder if I should sprinkle some Jennifers or Lisas or Jessicas in somewhere.

In other news, I found out Friday that The Paris Apartment will be coming out in Italian! Publisher Newton Compton bought the rights. Hard to believe I now have a U.S. publisher and an Italian one. It was a huge treat to hang up from a conference call and find an email from my agent waiting in my In Box. Sometimes it’s like she does all the work. 😉

Have a good week everyone! Less than six months until publication date!

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