How to Name Your Romance Hero

Heroic Names

The importance of being Earnest….or Brian, Mike, Mark, or Logan

I’m sure this has happened to you before:  you’re cruising along in a book, when something happens – something you don’t care for.  Maybe it’s a description of a character (ha! she doesn’t look like that!) or something a character does (ugh! that wasn’t cool).  The beauty of a book is that if something happens that you don’t like, you can do what I like to call a mental override.  IGNORE!  heehee 🙂 Don’t get me wrong, I’d never change a part of a  book, but some small details can be tweaked in the mind of the reader (you’re more naive than I am if you think that readers never do this).

But, there is one thing that the mental override cannot overpower – names of characters, which is why they’re really important.  One of my most favorite romance novels (which I’ll have to re-read and review at some point), features a hero named Catlin – CATLIN!  I think it’s his last name, but it’s the one used through the book and it is seriously annoying.  I mean, how do you pronounce it?  I’m thinking CAT – lin, makes it more masculine, no?

Anyway, that brings me to the point of this post – how should you name your romance novel heroes?   There are a lot of names common in this genre (just off the top of my head) –

Brian, Mark/Marcus, Mike, John, Evan, Ryder (you know he’s got to be hot), Jack/Jackson,  Sebastian (ohh! I love this one, but it usually means a dangerous hero), Chase, and Eric.

But who cares about that?  You live to break the rules!  You have a smoking hot name that you want to try out.  Go you!  But before you do, take into account the problem with Catlin and make sure you’re clear on how to pronounce it.

Also, there are some names that don’t seem to work in the romance novel world.  My personal favorite critique of a name is for a man named Sheldon.  And while the character was not talking about romance novels, the quote sums up why some names just don’t work for the type of smut I write:

“A Sheldon can do your income taxes, if you need a root canal, Sheldon’s your man… but humpin’ and pumpin’ is not Sheldon’s strong suit. It’s the name. ‘Do it to me Sheldon, you’re an animal Sheldon, ride me big Shel-don.’ Doesn’t work.”  – From the forever funny, “When Harry Met Sally.”

Heeheheeheee.  Moral of the story, when you pick your names for characters, do it wisely.

As for me?  Most of my heroes start off as “Logan” (I eventually change the name later when the mood hits me).  Why Logan?  Because long before Hugh Jackman, Wolverine was a fucking stud. 🙂

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15 thoughts on “How to Name Your Romance Hero”

  1. Daaamn! Now that’s something I never considered before… But what do you do when you’ve covered ten or so chapters and you decide the name of the main hero has to go? Do you change it all? :/

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  2. LOL! I’ve had to rename my people once I started writing because I got sick of their names. Writer’s tip: Don’t name someone something that can be part of another word (such as Marc with a C instead of a K or Lori) because when you want to search for it or change it, it’s really HARD! 😀

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