Sheryl R. Hayes

Figuring out writing one word at a time.

What’s In A Name?

One of the challenges I’m having while writing is coming up with names. Not only do I have difficulty naming my characters, but I had difficulty naming myself.

I write under a pseudonym for several reasons. One if them is that my legal name is highly unusual. After a lifetime of having it mispronounced and misspelled by teacher, co-workers, friends, and even family, I embraced the idea of taking a new name.

So I came up with what I thought would be my pen name – Jordan Abbey. Then I dove into developing other characters. Thorn was based on a character I role-played. Montgomery Cooper came from a nickname Thorn insisted on calling him. But the character giving me the most problem was my heroine. Nothing stuck until I looked at my pen name. So the female lead became Jordan Abbey, and I was off in search of a new name.

As I continued on with my story and my search for a pen name, I noticed a trend. Despite keeping a list of what I named who, I was came up with similar sounding names. Several characters have had two different names, and poor Rhys had three. Now if I have to name a background character, I am very careful to consult that list. I’ve also discovered Scrivener’s name generator function, which has helped immensely pick names at random.

I finally chose Sheryl R. Hayes as my pen name for two reasons. It’s close enough to my legal name that I will respond. Plus, I feel that it fits me better than other names I considered. Now if I could only come up with the final title for my book and series.

1 Comment

  1. I love hearing the history of pen names/aliases/etc. Thanks for posting this tid bit about yours!

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