Monday, May 2, 2016

Naming Characters by Marilyn Meredith aka F.M. Meredith

Today I have a very special guest blog by my good friend and fellow author Marilyn, aka F.M., Meredith.  Marilyn always has great advice, and her words of wisdom in this post are no different. 

Naming Characters
Even when I’m giving a prize winner’s name to a character, I like to make sure that name fits the

person I’ve created. In most cases, it’ll be a minor character who probably won’t appear again. Of course if someone told me they wanted to be a suspect or even the murderer, I’d be glad to do as they desired.

There are many ways to choose characters’ names.

One of the characters who has been in every book in the Rocky Bluff P.D. series, is Officer Doug Milligan. I have a favorite cousin named Doug and I always liked the name as I like the character. Milligan seem to fit for his last name. Often that’s the way it happens, the name just comes to me.

When I first knew I wanted to introduce a black police officer, I chose the last name Zachary. This was the surname of a Camp Fire leader I knew years ago. I don’t really remember where the name Felix came from, but Felix Zachary has been an important character for many books in the series.

When I first began writing my Tempe Crabtree mystery series, I borrowed my great grandmother’s name because it seemed to fit for a Native American or Indian as she prefers to be called.

Marilyn at the PSWA conference 2015

When I’m writing about a person with a definite ethnic background, I’ll visit a website with names from that culture and try to find a first and last name that seem to go with the character as I see him or her.

For the really bad villains, I like to choose odd names. In A Crushing Death one of the bad guys is named Omar Padweitz, another is Elford Lemus. At times, I’ve used much more common names for other reasons.

If I, through some strange coincidence used your name for an unlikeable character, I apologize. I assure you it wasn’t done on purpose.

Speaking of names, I love Holli’s. Think about it, Holli Castillo could be the name of a movie or TV star, or a famous singer. Guess what, Holli writes great mysteries and also creates short films.
If you’re an author, what is your way of choosing character’s names?

Marilyn aka F. M. Meredith

A Crushing Death

A pile of rocks is found on a dead body beneath the condemned pier, a teacher is accused of molesting a student, the new police chief is threatened by someone she once arrested for attacking women, and Detective Milligan’s teenage daughter has a big problem.

F. M. Meredith, who is also known as Marilyn Meredith, is nearing the number of 40 published books. Besides being an author, she is a wife, mother, grandma and great-grandmother. Though the Rocky Bluff she writes about is fictional, she lived for over twenty-years in a similar small beach town. Besides having many law enforcement officers in her family she is counts many as friends. She teaches writing, loves to give presentations to writing and other groups, and is a member of Mystery Writers of America, three chapters of Sisters in Crime and on the board of Public Safety Writers Association.

Facebook: Marilyn Meredith

Contest: Once again, the person who comments on the most blogs during this tour, can have a character named after them in the next Rocky Bluff P.D. mystery. Tomorrow you can find me here: