I sometimes struggle with character names, especially in fantasy novels. It’s almost as though there’s an unwritten rule that if you write fantasy, at least one character needs a name with apostrophes, dashes, twelve vowels or none at all. Despite it’s prevalence in fantasy, other genres run into this problem as well, just ask Rory Gilmore about the Russian classics.
I can’t tell you how much though goes into character names. Ermisenda fought me (hard and for months) about Ana’s name in Blind Sight. Originally named Bella Aniela meaning “beautiful angel,” the Bella was eventually dropped. We wanted unique names that would stand out and be memorable but still pronounceable. It’s also become my outlet to use names that I adore but don’t want to use on children lest that harbor a hatred over it for years. My favorite is a tie between Paisley and baby Mandolin (sister to Viola, Harmony, Melody, and Crescendo).
Let’s play a game! Leave a comment with your favorite difficult to pronounce character name and the book or series if you remember it. Have fun trying to spell them! I’ll start.
Ahz pronounced Oz, but not, 😉 you’ll have to read Another Fine Myth to understand that last bit.