When I thought about naming the characters in my novel, I thought it would be fun. I could pick any names I wanted! I didn’t have to please anyone but myself! No worries about coming to a consensus with someone else! My father-in -law’s mother chose his name from the society column in the newspaper. One of my siblings was named after the greyhound dog (I believe; it may have been a horse) that my father bet on at the track that kept winning. My husband and I could only agree on one boy’s name and one girl’s name we both liked. Good thing we only had one of each…
Anyway. You know that old saying, ‘Be careful what you wish for’?
The character naming wasn’t as fun as I thought it was going to be. In fact, it was hard. Bebe had several other names before I settled on Bebe. I started out using a baby name book. Then I started writing down names from the credits of TV shows. I don’t remember where I heard to do that, but it was in my memory from way back. I made list after list of first names.
I wasn’t satisfied with any of them.
I knew I wanted her to have a nickname, so I started over with that. I thought the main character was in the process of becoming herself. Becoming… be…Bebe! Beatrice was the middle name of a relative, so that fell into place.
I also knew that I wanted her to have an Italian last name. I thought of Bebe as coming from a family that had secrets, and after making list after list of Italian surnames, a thought presented itself: What is the Italian word for ‘secret’?
Segreti! I spiced it up a little by adding an additional ‘t’ to it and Bebe Segretti was born!
Fellow writers: How do you name characters?
P.S. So far, the voting for who should play Bebe in the movie of my novel One Brave Thing is not going the way I’d hoped…people are not voting for my number one choice!!! (Hint: this is her picture)