Monday, September 13, 2010

Naming without a Tune

I've been busy working away on writing-related projects, despite the blogger silence of late. I finished yet another round of Madison edits, and now it's going to sit in the sidelines until an agent requests to see it. I don't think that'll be too long. It's ready for the public. Finally. Three years later. It took me three years to write my first novel, and three years to write and polish and query my second. I think I'm getting faster, even if it doesn't look like it from here.

Which means that my attention has turned to the next project. I mapped this one out, and have it ready to go except for two looming obstacles: naming my main female and male characters.
Normally the names come to me pretty quickly, but on this one, I had to grab my favorite name book (Baby Names Made Easy: The Complete Reverse-Dictionary of Baby Names). I started with female names, the female being my lead protagonist in this novel.

The unexpected result: an odd assortment of tunes stuck in my head.

Have you ever contemplated how many songs have names in them? No? Me either. Until we (Cody was my sounding board) were going through the lists. Here were all the names that were crossed out no matter how much or little we liked them, simply because I don't want a song stuck in my head for the next three months to three years:
  • Joleen (Joleen, Joleen, Joleen, please don't take my man just because you can)*
  • Cecilia (you're breaking my heart, you're shaking my confidence daily)*
  • Eileen (come on, Eileen, oh I swear what he means)*
  • Ella (Cody insisted on singing Rihanna's "Umbrella" song, so I'm counting it as a "name" song and it's definitely vetoed since I don't want to listen to Cody sing "Ella, Ella, Ella, eh, eh, eh, eh, Ella, Ella, Ella" for a day, let alone three years)*
  • Peggy-Sue (pretty, pretty, pretty Peggy-Sue)
  • Maria (Take a letter, Maria, address it to my wife)
  • Sara (Sara, Sara, storms are brewing in your eyes)
  • Janie ('s got a gun)
  • Brandy (Brandy, you're a fine girl)
  • Michelle (my bell)
  • Rosanna (Rosanna, Rosanna, I never thought a girl like you could care for me)
  • Jean (Billy Jean's not my lover)
  • Caroline (sweet Car-O-Line, doo-doo-doo, the good time never felt so good)
  • Lucy (Lucy in the sky with diamonds)
  • Roxanne (Roxanne, you don't have to put out the red light)
*Indicates names I was considering before the song lyrics got stuck in my head.

Once we started singing songs with names, we were on a roll. I didn't need a name book for a prompt, but I did need it for inspiration of name that don't yet have songs. I mulled over three names that night (going to sleep with "Take a letter, Maria" stuck in my head, and waking up with "Joleen, Joleen, Joleen" playing in my thoughts when I turned off the alarm), and the final decision is Faye.

It's short, it's simple. It fits a fantasy genre. I've never had a character with that name, and I don't read any novels with that name used for a main character. I know no one named Faye. It has a lot of potential.

Now to find a male character's name. These ones are already vetoed:
  • Alejandro (and Roberto and Fernando: Don't call my name, Alejandro)
  • Jessie (Jessie's girl; where can I find a woman like that)
(And if you want to find your name in a song, here's a good place to start looking. No one has yet to sing about a Rebecca...except Cody, who sings me this song: "Re-bec-ca, your name rhymes with 'hecka.'" I don't think that one's catching on.)

1 comment:

TikiBird said...

LOL! I like Cody's song.

I love Faye. I remember you suggested that for a baby name and I liked it!

And I am SO glad you did not pick Joleen.