Friday, April 28, 2017

More on How to Name Your Characters

by Anna del C. Dye @AnnaDelC
Indie Author Hub Member


Every time an author writes a new book, names for all the characters are needed. The meanings of names are very important to the personality of the characters. If you want your character to be a strong giant, don’t name him Mouse. If you want a slow shy character don’t name him/her Brain.

How do many authors get inspiration for their names?

One of the best places to find names is still The Baby Book of Names. However, I have found many sites on the Internet with names, and many of them display their meaning. Another great place is oriental, Hindu, and Indian name books or web sites. You will be surprised at the many old names contained in the Bible, and how perfect they are for some of the best fantasy characters I have seen.

Since I write medieval fantasy I like my names particularly different and with an old flavor to them. Every time I read I paid attention to the names of the characters and verify if they will work for my particular story. Now this doesn’t mean that I copy them from other authors; they are 100% mine.  How do I do it then? Usually by accident.

I read the name and it will suggest a pronunciation to me. Then my mind says "cool, but I would have spell it this way." That is all it takes to have a new name. Other times I have put two names together. For example Sarianni was made by combining the names of the two grandmothers of the character: Saria and Annia. Another time I reversed the name of one character to make another: Nathaniel became Leinahtan, Leinah or Leinahtany.

I also asked some of my nieces and nephews which names they liked most. It took a bit of doing but I turned them into names worthy of my elfs and mankind characters.

Here are some results I obtained from these techniques:

Emily = Emelen          Christie = Christalyn          Samuel = Siamuel

Jessica = Jesikal         Donovan = Donian             Anna = Annia

John = Johesin           Michael = Michail               Sultan = Zoltan

Alex = Axel                  Adriana = Adren                  David = Dellin

These are my own inventions and most of them are used in my trilogy. I am sure you can come up with many more on your own. You can do the same with any name that you like or use its meaning as a name by itself.

In my case my characters usually came to me complete with name and personality. It amazed me how fit the one is for the other. Change some vowels and see what you get. Usually you will know right away if the name fits the character or not. A well fitting name will make your character; a wrong name will destroy it.

One more thing to have present in your mind when you name your characters: a very hard name will be hard to remember, and your readers will miss your great tale by just trying to figure how to say the name. I saw a name that I liked and it was spelled Sean. When I used it just like that in my book, my husband pronounced it very distinctly from what I had thought. It was like day and night, so I decided to have a pronunciation chart. It is all right to have a pronunciation chart in the beginning or end of the book. I do this and have been complimented because of it. I have also received accolades for the great names I use.

Remember, names are frequently the first thing a reader sees on the blurb on back of the cover. Your character names are a great advertisement for your book.

Now go, and happy writings to you…

~~~

Shared with us from Anna's blog.

Anna was born in the extreme South. She loves reading, but had few opportunities to do so while growing up. As a young woman, she moved North to marry Rodney Dye and has resided in Utah since then. They are the parents of three princes and a princess. With her husband and his family she has had the opportunity of traveling to many of the United States, (most of them camping!) and to four other countries. She would like to visit castles in European countries. She is fluent in both English and Spanish and understands Portuguese.

After she married, Anna was introduced to the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew books that she admits to having collected. A number of years ago she was introduced to Tolkien's Lord of the Rings and to J. K.Rowling's writings, which she loves. She also loves romantic music (she listens to it every day), theatrical plays that she attends at least six times a year, and cats (when they are not shedding).

Anna wears her dresses down to her ankles and likes them to be very feminine, with lace being one of her favorite trimmings. "I am afraid that I do not follow fashions," she has said. "I wear what I like."

You can find Anna on her website, her profile on FaceBook, and on Twitter at @AnnaDelC.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Writing Fiction: Name That Character

by Rebecca Talley  @rebeccatalley
Indie Author Hub Member


How do you name your characters?

Some popular authors have created unique names for their characters, while others have used common names. JK Rowling uses names like Dumbledore, Romilda, Lovegood, and Nymphadora. Stephenie Meyer uses Edward, an ordinary name, for the hero of the Twilight series, as well as other common names such as Jacob, Renee, Jessica, and Alice.

A name will have different associations for different readers depending on their own unique experiences. For example, one reader may think that the name Angie is associated with a fat, ugly girl while another may think of someone extraordinarily beautiful. It’s impossible, as a writer, to predict how readers will react to a name, but you can do some minor research to make sure the name you choose fits your character. Once you choose a name, try it out on friends, writing partners, or critique groups to get a feel of how people will react to the name.

Here are some ideas on how to find names for your characters:

Baby Name Book. These books are readily available and generally include the definition of the name as well as different variations. Many baby name books will include a list of the most popular names of a particular year or other time span.

Social Security Name Index.
Go here: www.ssa.gov/OACT/babynames and it will give you the most popular 100 names of any given year. This is especially helpful if you’re writing a story set in the past. You can also determine the popularity of the name you’ve chosen for your character.

Use names of Relatives. You can search through family records and genealogy charts to find unique names.

Yearbooks. Find high school yearbooks and search through the pages to find names.

Phone Book. A local phone book can provide you with many names, both first and last. You can simply choose a page and see if any of the names on that page appeal to you.

Names You Wanted for Your Children. Many women who write tend to choose names for their characters that they wanted to name their children but were unable to do so.

Combinations. You can combine certain names and see if the name you’ve created appeals to you.

Your characters are your “babies.” Make sure you name them well.
~~~


Rebecca grew up next to the ocean in Santa Barbara, California. She spent her youth at the beach collecting sea shells and building sandcastles. She graduated from high school and left for college, where she met and married her sweetheart, Del.

Del and Rebecca are the sometimes frazzled, but always grateful, parents of ten wildly-creative and multi-talented children and the grandparents of the most adorable little girls in the universe.

After spending nineteen years in rural Colorado with horses, cows, sheep, goats, rabbits, and donkeys, Rebecca and her family moved to a suburb of Houston, Texas, where she spends most of her time in the pool trying to avoid the heat and humidity. When she isn't in the pool, she loves to date her husband, play with her kids, swim in the ocean, redecorate her house, and dance to disco music while she cleans the house.

Rebecca has always loved to write and has authored novels, stories for print and online magazines, and children's books. She now focuses on writing romance because she believes everyone deserves their happily-ever-after.

You can find Rebecca on her website, her author page on FaceBook, and on Twitter at @rebeccatalley.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Want a Successful Website?

by Anna del C. Dye @AnnaDelC
Indie Author Hub Member


Here are some great suggestions that have served me well.

1. Make sure that you have the right colors in it. No wild colors. They make you look irresponsible and provide too much chaos for the eye. You will lose most serious buyers. Blue conveys trust, yellow attracts the eye. It is all right to use three to four colors throughout. If you market for children you can use more colors, but still don’t go overboard. It’s the parent you need to convince to buy your products.

2. Watch the terminology you use. If you use words that will identify you as an eighty-year-old, it may not greatly impress your younger buyers. Be professional and don’t use slang or mannerism.

3. Have a nice, professional-looking picture. Not too big and not too small of a head shot. Passport size works nicely.

4. Use words throughout the site that are eye catching and very searchable. This will bring more costumers to your site from search engines.

5. Each page should have buttons that call the reader to take action. Place "Buy here" buttons in the left hand upper corner and in a couple of other places on the page.

6. Make sure you have a page where you offer something for free. People love freebies and they will trust you more if you give them something for free. You could also use this page to have all your visitors sign in and leave their emails, then use these emails to keep in touch with your possible costumers when you have something else to offer. Alternately, have readers sign up for your emailed newsletter list.

7. Use top tabs to move from page to page. Keep it simple. If possible use one word on each tab. A semi-dark tone of yellow will make them stand out. Have an image of your book covers prominently displayed.

8. Be clear on what you are selling by using a catch phrase. If you are selling books, say so on the main page above or below the image of your book covers. Your catch phrase could be "The greatest fantasy book since…" or "This technology book will change your future," etc.

9. A page for announcement or events can attract your fans.

10. Make sure that you keep your site up to date. Change something on it every week. This will keep your frequent visitors interested. Otherwise they will stop coming to your site. List your events, or add a blog that you need to update every week. Remember that blogs don’t need to be very big; in fact many people don’t have time to read long speeches. Go for fifteen lines, and if you have more than that, divide it in pieces and add the next installment the following week. It's very important to tell your visitors when you will publish the next piece, and then deliver it on time.

11. A page with links will help to push your website up on the list of millions that exist in the web. Make sure you click in your links. If they are not working, contact the source and have them fixed as soon as possible. If they are no longer there, take them out.
~~~


Anna was born in the extreme South. She loves reading, but had few opportunities to do so while growing up. As a young woman, she moved North to marry Rodney Dye and has resided in Utah since then. They are the parents of three princes and a princess. With her husband and his family she has had the opportunity of traveling to many of the United States, (most of them camping!) and to four other countries. She would like to visit castles in European countries. She is fluent in both English and Spanish and understands Portuguese.

After she married, Anna was introduced to the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew books that she admits to having collected. A number of years ago she was introduced to Tolkien's Lord of the Rings and to J. K.Rowling's writings, which she loves. She also loves romantic music (she listens to it every day), theatrical plays that she attends at least six times a year, and cats (when they are not shedding).

Anna wears her dresses down to her ankles and likes them to be very feminine, with lace being one of her favorite trimmings. "I am afraid that I do not follow fashions," she has said. "I wear what I like."

You can find Anna on her website, her profile on FaceBook, and on Twitter at @AnnaDelC.