Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Birth of a Novel: naming the heroine

Brielle no longer looks like this, but this was the vision I had at her conception.
This blog series following the creation of Duty from idea to print book is part of an experiment. The first installment was Birth of a Novel: the starting point.

By December 5, 2011, I knew I needed a permanent name for my fiery heroine. I struggled to find one that fit. But none did. So, I asked again for suggestions.

Here is her description from her naming contest:

An only child, she is strong, independent, and loyal. Orphaned before she turned one, she grew up in her wet nurse's household. Loren, the wet nurse's daughter born the same year, grew to be a best friend, a sister by other parents.

Orwin, this woman's cousin, inherited her father's title and lands. He provides for her welfare, but only barely, keeping her out of sight in the smallest village on the edge of his domain.

Her most obvious physical feature is a mane of wild, red hair. Tall, leggy, but not willowy, she is more of a warrior than a woman who depends upon her feminine wiles. She tends toward practicality and action, making do with what fate hands her and fighting for what she believes is right.

*** I have changed her history a bit since. She is no longer orphaned at one-year-old, but in her late teens or early twenties. ***

Aly Mae and Joanna Gommesen won the prizes for naming her Brielle Solarius. Incidentally, the winner of the original contest for the opening line, Abigail, influenced the outcome by encouraging me to look at Brielle twice.

Next time, I will talk about choosing the book's title.

Question: What is your favorite character name?


Lauren said...

I can't start writing the story, even if I have the outline, until I name the main character and write a small bio. Many of my novels are stuck in the planning stage because I haven't been able to name the heroine. ~ L

Rachel Rossano said...

I can understand that completely. Once I name a character, I usually have a horrible time if I have to rename them in editing. Verity in WORD AND DEED was Maven. Changing it was and awful experience. It felt like I was remaking her whole characters by changing her name. We both survived, but I want to avoid the experience if possible. :)

Have you used baby name books or baby name websites. There tons around. They help me when I am stuck. Especially those sites that allow you to search name meanings. :)