Know what sucks? Yes, besides a Hoover. Very funny. What I was going to say was that re-naming characters sucks. Hard. And not in a good way.
I knew this was coming. I’ve even mentioned it here, trying to mentally prepare myself. But it really has to be done now, both in revisions for my first book and for the character re-appearing in the second. And it’s not the character I thought it would be.
I was going to change Cassia’s name, and let Kai keep his. His name means “ocean,” he’s a watery sort of guy, and then name seemed to me to have the sort of fun-yet-laid-back vibe that he gives off. I was attached to Cassia’s name, too (I adore it, and it means “cinnamon,” which is pretty much the colour of her skin), but I thought she could survive the change. I couldn’t leave them both, not with love interests in a very popular YA series being named Cassia and Ky. My brother and sister pair would not stand for it.
So Kai’s name was going to stay. And then a friend named her dog Kai, and told me that her kids had named him after a Lego Ninjago character. Lovely. And reviews of another book that I need to read say that there’s a female character named Kai. And the name has come up a few times in reviews of other books I’ve seen recently, all male characters. Point is, it’s popular, and I don’t like that. Didn’t want to give my kids popular names, don’t want to do it for my characters. I don’t need them to be speshul-snowflake unique (or Uneeq, for that matter), but I really don’t like name trends.
But there’s also no other perfect name with a similar meaning. All evidence to the contrary, I don’t usually choose names based on what they mean; I’ve almost rejected names that gave away too much. But most of my mer folk do have water-related names. Nguh. I’ve narrowed it down a bit… I just hope this doesn’t take up as much of my day as blog renovations did yesterday. O.o
EDIT: Ugh. I liked the name Caius (it’s similar!), but I just found out that there’s one in the Twilight saga. So that’s probably a “no.”
June 12th, 2013 at 1:05 pm
The thing that sucks is some of the most awesome unique names become trends because an author thought them up, or heard it somewhere but no one had discovered it yet…. but then everyone loves it! That’s not such a bad thing, I guess.
June 12th, 2013 at 1:08 pm
It’s not bad if you’re the first one to use it; Bella is a hugely popular name for baby girls, or was a few years ago, and I’m sure Stephenie Meyer has no complaints about that. The kids might when there are three Bellas in their class at school, but that happens anyway (see also: Jennifer when I was growing up, Olivia and Sophia a few years ago). I know I’d like it if people wanted to name their kids after my characters some day… I just want to use them first!
June 12th, 2013 at 1:15 pm
I can definitely sympathise with you Kate. I have that problem, not so much with character names as with whole sections of my work that need to be changed. It’s a bummer but it has to be done.
June 12th, 2013 at 1:34 pm
I am taking a chainsaw to my YA mystery. Not only am I changing the MC guy’s name to a more trendy one, i am hacking away almost a dozen minor characters that really had nothing to do with the main story. Too many subplots are not a good thing.
June 12th, 2013 at 1:36 pm
Ouch. It sounds like you’re doing the right thing, but I know how hard that it. I’m sure your story will be stronger for it, though, so good move. 🙂
I’m curious about your name change now…
June 12th, 2013 at 2:37 pm
From Donald to J.T. (Jon Tyler)
June 12th, 2013 at 1:42 pm
I feel for you! I’ve had some long wrestling matches with myself over names…
June 12th, 2013 at 1:44 pm
It’s hard! I find this far more difficult than naming children or pets.
June 12th, 2013 at 1:45 pm
Kids were easy. I just named them what my wife told me to. And who needs pets? They are just ways to distract your kids, right?
June 12th, 2013 at 1:47 pm
My life would have been much easier if my husband had just let me name them. 🙂
And the pets practically named themselves.
June 12th, 2013 at 1:48 pm
Most of my pets would be named “Hey! Stop that!” or “Don’t put that in your mouth!”… Wait, I guess my kids would probably get those names, too, if it were up to me.
June 12th, 2013 at 1:50 pm
Mine all end up with nicknames, anyway. “Hey! Stop that!” would actually be nicer than what the cats get called when they’re scratching the furniture…
June 12th, 2013 at 2:06 pm
Speaking of names, I had real trouble with the names in my post today:
Thoughts on their names?
June 12th, 2013 at 2:12 pm
No problems with their names. I kind of like that a guy like that goes by such a normal, average, borderline-boring name. 🙂
June 12th, 2013 at 2:20 pm
If you’re in a position like his, it helps to blend in, right?
June 12th, 2013 at 4:24 pm
Why is it when someone replies to a reply that their comment ends up all squashed to the side? 😀
June 12th, 2013 at 4:27 pm
June 12th, 2013 at 4:29 pm
June 12th, 2013 at 4:30 pm
Nothing like the feeling of threaded comments between your toes!
June 12th, 2013 at 4:31 pm
might be time to put a cap on that before someone gets a papercut from a comment.
June 12th, 2013 at 4:33 pm
What’s life without risk?
June 12th, 2013 at 1:56 pm
argh, I’d be *headdesking* too. Good luck finding new names! They’ll probably come your way when you least expect it! (and blah blah blah and all that other sweet stuff I could say to try to cheer you up…)
June 12th, 2013 at 2:05 pm
Thanks. I think I’ve got it, I’m just afraid to say it out loud… 🙂
June 12th, 2013 at 2:02 pm
Totally feel your pain. I do wish you luck finding the right name.
June 12th, 2013 at 2:06 pm
Thanks. I’m trying one on him now… seems to be working. Don’t want to jinx it, though, so I’m going to shut up now.
June 12th, 2013 at 4:28 pm
I had to rename both of my main characters…probably my own fault because I swapped their genders over when my First Draft was in its early stages. It suddenly felt wrong to have a female angel and a male romantic lead in a romance aimed at women. THAT left me with some juggling, I can tell you. 😀
June 12th, 2013 at 4:29 pm
Haha, I bet! Probably a few other changes, too.
Most of my characters have gone through name changes, but not gender flips so far. It’s much easier to do when I don’t know them this well.
June 12th, 2013 at 8:58 pm
there’s always the Míkmaq word “Kepék”, meaning “strait” or “narrows” (pronounced quebec) 😉
June 12th, 2013 at 9:10 pm
Thanks, Shannon! The idea of calling any of my mer folk anything like “straight and narrow” has an ironic sort of appeal. I might have to use that for someone! 😀
June 12th, 2013 at 9:16 pm
my cats named minnow…hehe which also makes for a funny mer name
June 13th, 2013 at 10:45 am
I’m coming late to the discussion. Sorry. I’m doing a blog catchup. Did you decide to change the name or keep Kai? I changed two characters’ names, because I saw both in a book I read. But others I’ve kept, because, well, my own name is pretty common.
June 13th, 2013 at 4:46 pm
Personally, I like the name Kai.
June 13th, 2013 at 4:48 pm
I do, too. There’s just too many of them in current literature. 🙂
June 13th, 2013 at 4:47 pm
I feel your pain. I’ve got two characters potentially in need of renaming in one of my WIPs. And one of them needs two names. I never really liked her original name, but I haven’t really found a good substitute. I’ve nearly reconciled myself to keeping that one, but she also needs a fae name.
Anyway, good luck with your own renaming struggle!