A few days ago I was excited to have found a new first name for my character, originally named Rosalie Brown. Two days ago I awoke with the realization that the new name I had chosen – Caroline – would not work.
Why? Because there is another major character named Charlene. And while the names Caroline and Charlene sound nothing alike, on the page they look very similar.
Slap my forehead
It was a true slap my head moment. Of course I should have realized immediately that the names were too much alike. And the reason I didn’t will sound ridiculous to anyone who doesn’t write fiction (and to most people who do). It’s because in the world of the novel, Caroline and Charlene never meet.
I had thought about all the people in Rosalie/Caroline’s life, and what their names were, and what nicknames they might have for her. But I forgot to think about the people who were not in her life, but were still in the book.
Let me re-re-introduce you
Luckily, I had 77 other names to consider, thanks to suggestions from people who read this blog and/or my Facebook page. So here is the new and (I devoutly hope) final name for the character once known as Rosalie:
As in Rosalind Russell. And Rosalind Ashford of Martha Reeves and the Vandellas. And the scientist Rosalind Franklin, whose crucial role in understanding DNA was ignored and erased, while male colleagues Watson and Crick won Nobels for research they based on her discoveries.
So yes – Rosalind Brown. Say it with me and perhaps this name will stick.
Thanks to my friend Marvin Randolph for suggesting the name.