The Naming Game

Wow! It's been forever since I've posted. Fooeeevvveerr (what's that movie from? It's a classic...)

To my defense, I started writing again and that has to take first priority. I get so easily distracted. As an update, I've written a little over 6,000 words in the sequel to The Guardians of the Hidden Scepter. Yeah, I'm nowhere yet, but it's a start.

Before I start with this post, I want to point out a few updates to my blog. #1 There are now events (current events) posted in the events tab. Check em out. Come see me, if you'd like. I'm super way nervous about one of them because I don't know what the heck to talk about. #2 I finally posted a writing tip in the Writing Tip tab. Before you read it, please understand I'm not a teacher. I never went to school to be a writer, I don't claim to truly understand the schematics of writing a novel, and I'm actually a little embarrassed to write anything in that tab. But I wanted to share a tip or two of how I write. If it helps you... great! If it just ticks you off and makes you think you hate that Frank Cole guy, and who does he think he is for trying to tell me how to write my story, and why doesn't he mind his own bidness. If any of those thoughts are already embedding themselves in your subconscious, please don't read it. Just ignore. Instead of clicking on the tab, go buy yourself a "Tab" soda and enjoy. Tab soda? Is that not a blast from the past? I once had to drive all over town in search of a box of Tab for some high-to-do, stuffy, vice president who only drank Tab. Can you say spitter? Do you know what that means?

 Now that that's out of the way. Names. Yep, I want to talk about names. Coming up with names is hard. Especially in writing, but not limited to that. Naming a kid is hard, right? I mean this will be how they are forever known throughout history. My name is Frank Cole. Immediately, people conjure up an image of an old man who fancies sticking his dentures in upside down and smells of cantaloupe. Right? Come on, you know you think that when you hear Frank Cole. And if you didn't... you do now. But I kinda like my name. My dad's name is Frank and he's cool. My grandpa's name was Frank and he didn't have dentures. He did smell a little of a cantaloupe, but it was a nice smell. Plus, if you say my name really fast it becomes one word. FRANKLE. I'd like to think I have the right to come up with the definition of Frankle. Something awesome. A Frankle is... a Swedish sports car, or a laser-guided switchblade. Or it could be like, if one's feeling very Frankle they feel unstoppable and capable of taking flight.

Chances are though, a Frankle is something lame. Like a heart-attack inducing cheese sandwich, or a 3-story building with no door on the ground level, or a cardboard box used to dispose of trash when the garbage can is full.

"The garbage is full. Where do you want me to throw this dirty diaper?"
"Eh, throw it in the Frankle."


Why is this my post? Because, when you write a story, you need a name. Think about it. The name of the main character is one of the most important elements of a story. It's what you remember first. What if JK called her story, Frank Cole and the Sorcerer's Stone. Gasp. How awful? No one would read that! And what's a cheese sandwich have to do with magic anyways? See. Now, Harry Potter has a nice ring to it. That's the beauty of that name. Harry (normal) Potter (normal). Together. Brilliance.

I recently wrote another story and I named the main character Calvin. Is that dumb? Calvin. I wanted a unique name. Something not seen in the everyday ongoings. But Calvin? Where do you draw the line in between unique names and something that's not obnoxious? I once new someone who knew someone who named their kid Christopher with a silent 3 in the name. Christo3pher. Christothreepher. No, the 3 is silent. Christo3pher, but just don't say the 3. Why did they do this? I assure you I don't know. See that's obnoxious to me. Readers I think would see that as obnoxious too. Oh, this is exhausting.

These are some of the names I've come up with over the years that I'm proud of:
Amber Rawson
Hashbrown Winters (yeah, that one's my best so far)
Squeaky Mittons
Echo Rodriguez
Yankee Molicka (not a big role, but a classic I think.)

Then, I came up with these
Stephen Thomas
Calvin Simmons

I struggle sometimes. Especially when you look at the world of literature and see the creative names authors have come up with:

Percy Jackson
Septimus Heap
Tick Higginbottom
Hermione Granger

I need a new name. Something awesome. Calvin Simmons isn't it. This is a teen-horror-type book. Calvin doesn't sound like a teen-horror-type book main character does it? I don't know. I'm stumped. I need inspiration. I need something. I need a tab! Mmmm and a soppy, cheesy, Frankle.

Ah heaven.


sarah said...

How about Tab Frankle! ;)

Anonymous said...

I believe you are thinking of Sandlot. Michael "Squints" Palledorous. Another good name.

Anonymous said...

You're killin' me Smalls! ;)

Reader Riah said...

I agree that names are vital to a story. I particularly love it when authors put diligent research into their name choice and you realize that the characters actually ARE what their name says they are. Does that make sense? And of course, alliteration is a powerful tool as well.

A.J. Dub. said...

The Sandlot! I say that to my kids all the time when they ask me how long are we going to be in(insert name of non-toy store here. FOOOR- EEEEVV-ER.
And names, I like Jesse Evans but I think that was the name of a lady.
Jesse Evans Smith. Yep it was. Sorry no help.

Or Triston is a good one. Triston James.

A.J. Dub. said...

I have a question. Dow does the sale of ebooks vs paper books affect your profit? Just curious.

Mrs. LaDuke said...

Hey Frank! Checked out your calendar of upcoming events. You have authorpaloosa as Feb 5th, but the Barnes and noble says it's the 12th.

Reader Riah said...

Authorpalooza is the 5th. Barnes and Noble seems to have both dates up. The 5th is the right one though.

Kathi Oram Peterson said...

I love your characters and their names. Hope all goes well with your signing. :)

Frank Cole said...

Wow! Good call everyone on the Sandlot. Isn't that one of the all-time classics? I can just sit there and watch it on any given day. AJ - good question on e-book sales. Answer: I dunno. I assume I get the same percentage on e-book sales as well as book sales. I'll have to check my next royalty statement. And Mrs. LaDuke - It is definitely this Saturday. I double checked just to be sure, but thank you for being on top of it and thanks to Reader Riah for double checking as well. I also saw your facebook message too and I look forward to signing some books for your class!

snlim said...

Personally, I think eating a cheesy frankle would be an awesome way to die. But I'm just a girl who really likes her food.

I'm excited to see you back at Oak Hollow Elementary (even though it's still a while away)... I'm really considering to go to LTUE...hmm.

Mrs. LaDuke said...

Funny! I too, have had one name, like Prince and Sting (but without out all the money and fame), I once was known by a single name.
It wasn't spoken, it was always bellowed. Not sure that many of my classmates even realized I had a first name.
See, my maiden name was Nutt, and that's all she wrote!
Yeah, I can just hear the many colorful additions to that name!