I have at least six characters in my novel with names that start with the letter G. Now, in the grand scheme of things I suppose this shouldn’t be a problem but most of these are the main characters. The perspective characters romantic interest was named with a G. Her mother AND step mother were named with a G. The step mothers twin was named with a G though I admit that actually makes sense since twins are often named with like letters. At that point I still didn’t realize I had a problem. Nope, because then I even named the romantic interests MOTHER with a G name. Yes, you read that correctly.Let’s count them shall we?
Ok, that’s actually five, but I think there’s another character somewhere in the middle of the book that I can’t recall at the moment. I finally realized I had a problem when I was updaing character profiles in the writing software I use and then arranged them alphabetically. Half the characters in the story were in the G section. What gives self? What’s with the love of G?
Part of the problem is that when you write a story set in a specific historical place and time you feel obligated to use names that fit in that place and time. So I would spend time looking for names that were appropriate for ancient Trace, and Ancient Gaul, Celts, or Teutonic peoples. This also leads you to baby name sites, and then on to a never ending Wikipedia loop of wondering if this is the right name.
Then there’s just picking a random name for a character because you need a name RIGHT NOW. The first half of the novel I’ve just finished the first draft on, I started as a NanoWriMo year before last. When I got to the point of naming this romantic interest, I was in a book store. I picked a random book up off a shelf next to me and flipped open the book to a page and picked a name. Luckily it was a book on history and was actually a name that sort of fit.
The name was Gron. It is a terrible name. Horrible. Don’t worry; I’m going to change it. It became a running joke between myself and a couple of friends. One friend even jokingly started calling my book “Gron's Woman.” Though that is nothing even close to what the story is about. But the name is so bad, and so cliché it was hard not to joke about it. Another friend borrowed it for a time for another story, but dropped it in favor of something better. After awhile I started to like the name. Then hate it again.
Eventually I realized I had to change it even if I did like it because of my G problem. It needed to be something appropriate to the place and time, so I asked a friend from Iceland for a good name, and he gave me one. When in doubt, ask people for good suggestions. People are better than the internet.
Ultimately I will change about half of the G names for others. I will also learn to not give people such a hard time about finding names for characters on the fly. I used to be part of this gaming group, and half the fun was asking the GM the name for characters she’d never once thought of naming. The poor characters would end up with names like Mr. Paper or something along those lines. Well, now it’s no so funny is it?
Today’s blog has been brought to you today by the Letters G, B and the Number 5.
PS - Still raising money for this. You know you want to help out.