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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Name Trouble

I have a problem. I have a name for a character in my WIP that I love. Now, this character is not the main character...she's the six-year-old sister of my main character. However, she plays a major role in my story. Anyway, I named this character way back in the summer when I was still in the brainstorming stage. I completed a character sketch of her. I even went online and found a picture of an adorable little girl that looked like her, printed it out, and stapled it to the sketch.

Now months later, I just finished an awesome book (Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick) and, wouldn't you know it, the MC in that book has a name similar to my character's name. The main character in Hush, Hush is named Nora Gray. My character is named Noren Grayson. Hmmm. What to do. I know, it would probably be easier to just change her first or last name, but my problem is that I already think of her as Noren Grayson. That's her name, and I hate the thought of changing it. But, I don't want people (readers, potential agents and editors) to think I just copied the name from Hush, Hush. I didn't. I never even heard of Hush, Hush until a two months ago when I read a review of it on another blog. I've known about this conflict since then, but I've been putting off making a decision.

So, what do you think? Should I keep the name or change it? I would love to hear your opinion!

17 comments:

  1. I have a character named Grayson in mine, but it's his first name. I think that names are going to be repeated, it's inevitable. And if you're just getting started on your novel, your work won't be in front of agents for many months since you have to finish it, revise, get beta readers, etc. So by then Hush Hush won't be everywhere (although I guess then you have to worry about the sequel).

    Is the character's last name mentioned a lot? If not, then it may not be as painful to change that. And you can just do a minor switch that still gives you the same cadence. Mason, Dreyson, Lawson, etc. Good luck!

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  2. I've been hit with the same problem. The name of my MC is Lina. I realized that it was the name of one of the girls in Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, but thought that was okay.
    Then I found out that a new book (planned on being big) has the main girl named Lena.

    I'm working on name changes, but it's so hard because, like you, I still think of my MC as Lina. I've been using that for six months in my head, how am I supposed to adjust?

    In the end, I might just keep the name Lina and let an agent or editor tell me to change it.

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  3. I think you should stick with the name you've given the character. It's not like she is also named Nora Gray - the names are similar, but I don't think to the extent that people would accuse you of copying. I love the name "Noren"! So unusual and pretty :)

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  4. Wow! I'd love to advise, but I'm so far behind you in my writing world that I think I'm going in reverse. You chose a beautiful name and unless you can give your character a nickname and begin to think of her with that new name, I would say keep the name. You may not have to think about it again until you're ready to publish. By then, some amazing, guiding thought may hit you and give you a solution.

    I'd like to tell you about a $75 prize being given away. Be sure to head over and read all about it. Hurry 'cause we only have until the 6th of November to enter. Hurry, hurry!
    ~ Yaya

    http://yayashome.blogspot.com

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  5. Hush, Hush is not a good subject to get on with me. Keep your name:)

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  6. I don't see that it's a problem, but you might try getting on those baby name websites and just seeing if something for a last name strikes your fancy.

    http://seventhsanctum.com/index-name.php

    This website also has a bunch of name generators. You could play around with that. Just see if something strikes a deeper chord with you by trying out different names. If nothing resonates like the name you've already chosen, then stick with it and forget about the other book.

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  7. Stick with your character name. If you change it now it may never feel the same. We want to connect with the character the same way you have and her name is a big part of that equation.

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  8. I agree that you should stick with your chosen character name. I TOTALLY understand the attachment to a name you have devoted so much time to, and I think that unless an agent or publisher finds an issue with it, you shouldn't worry about changing it :)

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  9. I devoted a whole post to character name choosing. It's a huge deal to me to have that perfect name...without it, I cannot create a character that I(and hopefully future readers)will fall in love with.
    You picked your name for a reason and if you change it, I'm worried it will sound forced and no one likes to be forced to do things they don't want to do, right??
    I say keep the name and when the time comes that that name will be on the minds of millions of readers, yours will be remembered for the same reasons you originally loved.

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  10. I think you should just stick with the character's name. I doubt an agent would reject you based on a name. I'd just wait until I had an agent and then ask them what they think. Then, if they think you should change it, change it.

    =]

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  11. To everybody - Thank you soooo much for the comments. I think I will do what the majority of you are saying...keep her name for now and worry about changing it if a potential agent or editor has a problem with it. Ya'll are the best!

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  12. I think it's different enough to not be thought of as the same. It's how you hear her now in your head, so my vote is keep it. :O)

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  13. You have a little gift over at my blog. :)

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  14. I love my MC's name too, I think I'd change it to fit the story. BTW, I'm following you now =) I'm a aspiring YA author too.

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  15. i think I would keep the name. One of my seconardy characters shares the name with a MC of someone who just got a huge book deal, but I'm going to leave it until an agent or editor tells me to change it.

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  16. How frustrating--still I think you could keep it and I doubt it will be a big issue.

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  17. I agree with everyone. Keep your name and worry about it when you have to. It is frustrating though when that happens. I had something similar happen, but I'm choosing not to worry about it for now. :)

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