Monday, March 14, 2011

What's In A Name with Nichelle Gregory

What's In A Name?
By Nichelle Gregory

Naming the characters in a book is a crucial step in the birthing process of any creative literary work. Names are powerful. All of us have stored names of males and females in our minds that trigger certain memories whether good or bad. There are some names I know I'll never use in a book because I can never picture my character without remembering that person.

Crazy? Maybe.

One can take greater chances when naming characters for paranormal tales. Readers won't balk at seeing names they've never heard before because they're ready to accept the new worlds and creatures the author has created. That's part of what I love about reading and writing paranormal stories. As an author, I have the freedom to build new worlds and create the characters that dwell in them.

I love coming across different or unusual names when I'm researching for another paranormal WIP. I find ideas in the strangest movie credits. I've started keeping a list of these gems. I can't tell you how many times I've said, "I'll remember it and use it later." I've lost some good ones by not writing them down.

I believe many readers bond with the name first and the character second as they delve deeper into the book. That being said, I do think a character's name can be too different. I've read books with character names I couldn't pronounce or that I disliked to the point I renamed the character in my mind so I could enjoy the story.

So, I spend time choosing the perfect name for each character in my stories. I love it when the heroine or heroes' name pop into my head in the middle of the night or day. I instantly know my muse has spoken and it almost feels like magic!

When I can't get my muse to cough up a name I play the name game. I take the setting for the story, ethnicity, character personality, and other insane criteria I won't bore you with into consideration. The end result is usually a name I love for my characters which I adore!
Have you ever read a book with a character's name you didn't like? Did it hinder you from enjoying the story? I'm curious! Leave a comment and you could win a copy of As You Wish available now with Total E-Bound !

Here's the blurb:

A race against time to save her physic mother from supernatural forces leaves Karis, a novice clairvoyant, no choice but to trust a very sexy genie granting three wishes and an offer to help her tap into her psychic abilities...if she'll come willing to his bed.

With her eyes still closed, Karis kept chanting the mantra, “This isn’t real, this isn’t happening.” If she said it enough times, it would have to be true.

“Oh, yes, I am real and this is definitely happening.” A deep voice filled the room.

Her eyes flew open and for the second time in less than twenty-four hours, she screamed.

A strange man stood in her living room within arm’s reach! He towered above her, standing well over six feet with rich mahogany skin and a thick muscular build. Her gaze dipped to his bare chest and tapered waist. Ripped oblique muscles disappeared beneath the loose white pants riding low on his hips. Heat flooded her cheeks as she tore her eyes from his torso back to his face.

He held her shocked gaze with the most beautiful hazel eyes she had ever seen. He had the chiselled profile that would inspire fantasies and fantastic works of art. From the crown of his bald head to the soles of his bare feet, his bold features set him apart from the average male. He exuded confidence, evidenced in his relaxed stance and the cool sexy smile directed at her. A stylish goatee encircled his full lips and she couldn’t stop her eyes from travelling over the rest of his rock hard body. She took in every detail from his strong jaw line, thick neck, and the most impressive set of abs on full display. He was sexy as hell, but his sex appeal did nothing to calm her racing heart or the stark realisation she needed to call her doctor now.

“Oh, my God,” she whispered again, feeling light-headed.

The gorgeous apparition chuckled, flashing a perfect smile. “Not quite, but I get that a lot.”
She was losing her mind, hallucinating now in broad daylight.

“Tell me, how I may serve you?” The rich sound of his voice flowed over her like a warm summer breeze.

At least she was hallucinating about a hot guy and not the hideous creature in her dreams. She sucked in a breath as the half-naked man approached her and the entire room began to spin.

“No,” Karis whispered. She took one faltering step backwards and fainted.


Nichelle Gregory has been in love with books and writing since middle school. A lover of the arts, she enjoys anything that embraces the creative nature within us all. Bringing believable characters to life that thrill and excite her readers is a challenge that continues to push Nichelle. She loves creating stories involving super sexy alpha heroes with divine heroines in magical, exotic, and fantastic scenarios. So, gone on . . . Indulge your secret fetishes and desires! Visit her website and blog


Jamie Kline said...

Oh for sure, I definitely agree with you! I can't think if ant specific examples, but I've read books where the main character's name was impossible for me to figure out how to say. Usually because there was at least 2 different ways it could be pronounced and it drives me CRAZY not to know which way the author meant it to be. Really ruins the story for me because that's all I can focus on!

Jamie @ Bookerella

Nichelle Gregory said...

Good morning, Jamie,

I agree if the name of a character is too dicey to figure out it can detract from the story. Thanks for commenting and have a great week! ;)

Andrea said...

Character names don't bother me. I just enjoy the book. As far as I'm concerned it's the author's prerogative for whatever names are used.


Nichelle Gregory said...

Hi, Andrea, thanks for weighing in! ;)

Jen B. said...

No, I have never found a crazy name crazy enough to drive me crazy enough to make me stop reading (good sentence?). I have, however, found names that even I switch up the pronounciation as I am reading. My favorite, though, is when even the author knows it's crazy and actually points it out. Like the when the character says it it is spelled one way but when others say it it is spelled another. And then the big WHAM when the character corrects the spelling. BTW, I had lots of fun structuring these sentences!

booklover0226 said...

I must be living under a rock to have missed Nichelle's works and boy, do they sound great.

I look forward in checking out your works, Nichelle.


Nichelle Gregory said...

Hi, Jen!

If the story is well written I do what you do with the pronunciation to finish the book. Sentence structure is always fun...NOT! Thanks for commenting! ;)

Hi, Tracey,

So nice to 'meet' you! I write contemporary, fantasy and paranormal works. Find out about my backlist, read excerpts, and view book trailers for them all on my website:

Happy Reading!

Anne said...

Hi, Nichelle-

Since names in your post's topic, where did you get your name? Was a parent a fan of Nichelle Nichols of Star Trek?

Nichelle Gregory said...

Hey, Anne,

Nichelle is actually my middle name. My dad is a huge trekkie (so am I), but I can't be sure she's the inspiration behind the name. I think she rocks though, so I wouldn't mind at all!

Have a great weekend! ;-)