Sunday, July 31, 2011

More Tips on Naming Characters

The past few weeks I have been discussing where writers find names for their characters. I almost forgot to share some helpful hints. For starters, you don't want all or many of your characters names starting with the same letter. It helps to avoid confusion and aids in giving every character their own, separate, identity. A friend once told me she writes the alphabet and when choosing a first or last name she marks the first letter off her alphabet. I found this useful.

The next piece of advice came from another writing friend who read my book, Liquid Hypnosis. She told me she is Dyslexic and names which end the same confused her because she sometimes starts at the end of a name. I believe I had a few characters whose names ended in S.
My next book has a character whose last name is Stevenson, so I need to make sure no one else's name ends with son too.

I hope you find this advice useful as well.
Until next time,
happy writing!
Tina LaVon

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Character Naming

Two Sundays ago, I mentioned Best-selling Author, Janet Evanovich, searched through yearbooks and phone books to find names for her characters. Usually names come to me, but I have discovered a couple of resource books I have used often.

Character Naming Source book by Sherrilyn Kenyon, another New York Times Best-selling Author. She lists names by their nationality and gives their meaning. According to her book, Tina is English and means river. Maybe I shouldn't have looked. I've seen better definitions elsewhere.

My favorite resource book is The Secret Universe of Names by Roy Feins. He believes names have a subliminal power. We form an image of someone when we hear their name. This is helpful for writers who are forming characters with particular traits. This gives us an edge if the reader already has a predisposed belief system about names.

He lists names according the significant letters. For example, Tina is listed under tn. He then gives a page describing the personality attached to the name. I read through the page for Tina. Some of it applies to me, but not all. He also lists strengths and weaknesses. My strengths would be Energetic, Talented, Warm. I can live with that. My weaknesses would be Self-important, Pushy, Demanding. I guess I have been those at least once. My friends would say I am definitely not pushy or demanding. Perhaps when I was younger or if I feel I am standing up for someone's rights.

The author also gives a rating scale on how likely someone with a particular name is to be charismatic, have a successful career, be lucky in love and friendship, and how much power they might have. My scale is the highest when it comes to love and friendship. I would have to agree.

Until next week,
happy writing,
Tina LaVon

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Meet an Editor and/or Agent

Registration for the 2012 Desert Dreams Conference,
to be held Apri 27-29, 2012 in Scottsdale, AZ,
is now open.

The first 50 people who register and pay for the
2012 conference will have their names placed in a
drawing and 10 lucky people will win a spot next
to one of our editors or agents at the Saturday luncheon.

We don't have our full list of 10 editors and agents shown
on the website yet, as we're still confirming the last few,
but you'll have time to adjust youreditor/agent appointments
before conference if you register now. It's still based
on first registered/first paid basis.

If you're one of the lucky 10 to win the promotion,
this gives you extra one-on-one time with an editor/agent,
as it doesn't have to be the same person you meet with
for your appointment.

Register online at
to take advantage of our early bird pricing and
be entered in the drawing for the chance to spend
an entire lunch session with the editor/agent of your choice
based on the time of your registration).

As soon as we have 50 registrations, we will use
the contest engine to determine the 10
winners at random. We will notify each person.
As soon as our 10 editors and agents are finalized,
you will have a chance to pick your lunch partner.

Don't wait! Register today at

Questions? Email

Sunday, July 3, 2011


This weekend we celebrate Independence Day in the United States. We recognize the fact we won our freedom during the American Revolution. We may be a free country, but there are all types of binds we place on ourselves. During these weekend celebrations, I challenge you to take a good, long look at your life. What do you need to free yourself from? Do you spend too much time with toxic, negative people who deplete your energy? Do you eat too much junk food that clogs your body and also drains your energy? Are you spending too much working and not enough time with your loved ones? Identify what detracts from the quality of your life and start your own revolution to free yourself.

I am going to increase my energy levels by increasing my water intake, eating healthier food, and exercising more. What will you do?