How important are your character’s names? For me, sometimes characters come with their name already there. Sometimes I have to think and hunt to find out what it is. For minor characters I sometimes just go to a baby name sight and pick one. But once they have their name how attached to it are you?
For me I think it depends on if the name fits or not. I have a few names I’ve changed over time because it wasn’t right, or I got to know the character better and they told me their real name, but that generally happens fairly quickly. I do believe there is power in names.
The little girl we adopted last week has the same name as one of my MCs in my trilogy. I was talking to my mom about how we were thinking of changing her name. This is not uncommon and there were several reasons that we were considering it but at the end of the list I tagged on “AND I have a character with that name”. She asked if I would ever consider changing that character’s name. My immediate response was “Oh, no! That’s her NAME.” It surprised me a little how repulsive that idea was to me. I couldn’t change her name any more than I could change my name or The Engineers.
I personally don’t have a problem if they have the same name. I know lots of people that share names and that’s great. But I was surprised to see exactly how much a part of my characters their names have become.
What about your character’s names? How do you get them? Do you ever change them? If a publisher recomended changing names would you listen?