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.

3 comments:

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.