Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Ebenezer Lipinski Sounds OK, Right?

When I write a first draft, I don't allow myself to think too deeply about each character's name, since that is usually a fabulous avenue for procrastination involving baby name websites, books checked out of the library and hours of contemplative thinking--all in the name of "research."

So, I usually just pick whatever name comes to mind easily, and retain the right to change it later. But, this can have interesting consequences. For A Bump in the Road, my main character's husband was named Ryan at first. I've always loved the name and he "seemed" like a Ryan.

Anyway, fast forward to a couple of months after I finish my first draft and I find out that I'm pregnant. After reeling from the burning irony that smacked me in the face, I started to think about baby names. And, after my husband and I found out we were having a boy, we decided on (You guessed it! Are we unoriginal or what?) Ryan.

I thought it would be traumatizing enough for my kid to have a mom as a writer that he didn't need to share a name with one of mommy's characters, so fictional Ryan became Jake.

After Ryan became Jake, I realized my main character's original name, Kate, would sound weird: Jake and Kate. Too many Ks or something. So, Kate became Clare.

Except now, and I wish I were joking about this, if I ever have a girl, I kind of love the name Clare.

I seemed to be destined to use all of the "good" names up through my books and be forced to name my actual child Ebenezer or something.


Jillian Cantor said...

Interesting post! It is funny the way there is something oddly similar about naming characters and naming children. Ryan is definitely a good name. I have an important character named Ryan in the book I just finished!

lisapatton said...

Okay Maureen, this is getting freaky. We are sooo similar. I'm totally relating to this post!

Lesley Livingston said...

Ooh... and I have a 'Clare' in one of my WIPs, too!

Love it.