Thursday, March 19, 2009

What's With the Letter K?

Okay, I haven't been reading tons of books, but I have been reading tons of queries. And synop's. And reading writing/author blogs all over the Internet.

Here's my question for the day: what's with the letter K? It seems like every single male MC out there has a weird name that starts with the letter K (or a hard C, which makes the same sound). And I don't mean Ken.

No I mean, like Kendin. (I sincerely apologize if that's your MC's name. I just made that up. Srsly.)

Or Cotton.

Or Kornill.

Or something just so out there.

I mean, come on! What is with that? Are people not naming their boys normal things anymore? Where are the Jon's? (Yes, I'm extremely partial to that name.) The Trent's? The Jason's? The Landon's? Don't they deserve a story too?

I know this is my personal issue that I need to deal with. I'm just wondering if any of you can save me from the therapy fee I'm going to have to pay if the next book I pick up has a male MC with a K name.

Makes me wish I had named my boy kid Konanter.


Anyway, so I started looking at the names of my male MC's. I've got Jon, Jared, Jag, Jesse (I even wrote a book about a Jess--a different book) and Josh. Apparently, I have an affinity for J-names. I also have Landon, Isaiah, and Hunter. Those are all safely in the middle of the alphabet from H-M. I even wrote a book with four brothers and their names are Jake, Kent, Luke, Mark. J, K, L, M. A character even comments on it.

This made me go hmmm.....and I love musing, so this was a good thing.

I also have Adam, Cal and Zenn. So apparently, my guys are either at the beginning of the alphabet or huddled in the middle. Does this stem from our human nature that most of us don't want to go first, but we don't want to be last either? More hmmm...

So what are you male MC names? Let me know, and maybe I'll make a chart because I'm just that geekalicious. Or maybe because I'm teaching charts to 6th grade next week for the country fair and I need something kewl to show them. Yeah, lets go with that one.


Carolyn Kaufman | @CMKaufman said...

This gave me a smile. First, because your posts always do. Second, because both my first and last name start with a hard K sound. Fortunately, I'm not a boy. ;-)

My word is plactra. Plactra is a weapon the evil aliens who look like humans use to incapacitate their enemies...they have guns that shoot this invisible field (also called plactra) that essentially paralyzes you for a short time.

Anonymous said...

I hate to even admit this, but when I pick up books at the bookstore, if I can't pronounce the hero's name..the book goes back on the shelf.

I can't imagine spending the next few hours of my life trying to wrap my tongue around a name. Nope.

Kathryn Hupp-Harris said...

My niece's name is Zen. It's short for Zenobia. (Long story)

There is no rhyme or reason to my male character names: Nick is my main man, Dave is the supporting role. But there's also Jason, Avery, Josh, Neil, Charlie, Chris, Michael (there's actually two Michaels, but one is a doctor so he's always referred to by his formal title), Angelo and Silas.

Those are the ones from my WIP that come right off the top of my head.

Unknown said...

I always feel strange commenting on blogs of people I don't know, but here goes. :)

I have to laugh at this post because I love the letter "K", but I tend to use it with girl names, not male MCs. I'm new to writing and currently have two fantasy novels in the works (same series) which, admittedly, the MCs have unique and strange names. For example, Ithon, Eloy, Tylos, Dalidon... If I weren't writing fantasy, I would definitely stick with "Tom, Dick and Harry" type names.

Windy said...

This question definitely got me thinking. Personally, some of my characters have names my husband wouldn't let me name our kids (we only have 2, but my list was kinda long) and I still wanted to use them for something. So wa-lah, my characters were named.

Amongst the different projects I've got going here's my list of names: Lucas, Lisa, Sam, Annie, Tony, Kevin, Elena, Chad, Everett, Lily, Seth, David, Brittany, Serena. Those are just off the top of my head. So I guess I'm just all over the alphabet.

Only one K name though. More recently I've become fascinated with R names: Riley, Regan, Remy just to name a few.

There's my contribution to your chart! :)

Michelle D. Argyle said...

Fun post! Well, one of my secondary MC's is named Chris. But other than that I've got a Naomi, Jesse, Karen (eek!), Nick, Eric, Catarina (eek!), Lilian, Kyle (eek!), and Devan. And there you go. Yep, there's some K-sounders in there. :)

Michelle D. Argyle said...

Kat, my main main character from Monarch is named Nicholas Avery. Weird. Hehehe.

Aubrie said...

You caught me red of my male characters is named Calin.

One of the Princes in Tad William's Shadowmarch series is Kendrick.

Sharon Shinn's book, Summers at Castle Auburn, has a Kent in it.

Very keen observation!

Tara Maya said...

I bet my hero was one of the K guys whose name hit your brain! *grin* ("Kavio" from The Corn Maiden - in the Secret Agent contest when Kristin Nelson was guest agent.)

I had three reasons for giving him a K name.

1. I have a relative with a K name so K names *must* be cool.

2. Different letters have different psychologies. 'K' is a good letter to the start the name of a powerful character, because it's a hard sound.

3. I just really like K names. Also T, J, M, S and, of corse, because I write fantasy, X and Z.

Elana Johnson said...

Wow, awesome names! I can't believe I've caught some of you red-handed!! LOL, that made me laugh.

Archetype, I'm totally paralyzed right now. Your word verifications crack me up!

Debora, I have a hard time if I can't talk out loud about a book. And if I can't pronounce the names, that's hard. Good point.

Kat! I have a Zenn in my ABNA entry! Woot, woot! Mine's a boy though. But tell your niece how awesome she is.

Janyece! Welcome to the blog! I love new visitors and comments. And you're right about fantasy. Good observation.

Windy, you need to make your list ElAna. None of this ElEna... :)

Oops! My bell just rang. Gotta go! Thanks for the names. Keep 'em coming. Those sixth graders aren't gonna know what hit them.

mand said...

Just followed a link from QueryTracker, i think it was. I like K! but i get your point. I wonder if some of its mystique is its perceived connection with the Celts - thinking of Kieran (which nowadays people know is Cieran), Kirsty, etc.

And as for J, i believe that's the most common inital among English names. (Blame the Bible.)

Janet said...

Hey, Elana - jumped over here from Query Tracker and MSFV (congrats on the 1/4 finals).

Great post - I have issues with my secondary female characters. I always want to name them Anne. Always :)

MS done - Hugh (MC), Ranulf (brother), William, Thomas, John, Blar (working in medieval times/limited choice of names)

Current WIPs - Ryan, Mac (McKenzie), Richard, Vince, Droyn (medieval again) - main and secondary.

Very safe names, don't ya think.


mand said...

Hey, Janet C: 'I always want to name them Anne' - with me, it's Sarah. ;0)

Jenn Adams said...

How funny that you would post on this today! I was just looking up names for some characters on's Name Voyager (Love. It. It's the best resource for naming characters I've ever found.)

As I was going through letter by letter, I was even thinking, "M has got to have some cool names...Ooh, I know there are some cool names that start with K" etc. :D

The names I settled on were Jaxson and Jordyn for my male and female leads. (Jaxson's first name is actually Henry, but of course, what self-respecting college guy is gonna go by Henry?) :) - no offense to those who go by Henry.

In other books, I have Zach, Ben, Fionntan, Bhaltair, and Ronaj. For girls, Nicole, Kristen (hey, it's a girl!) :), Nelvine, and Annaleigh.

So there you go. 2 B's, 2 J's, an F, 2 N's, an A, an R, an H and a Z. (Oh, yeah. And a K.) But, hey, that's a pretty good balance.

I can't think of anything cool to say about my word for today - counpsub. But then, I never could have thought of anything for plactra either. :D

Michelle McLean said...

K, well I've got Bryant, Ronan, Jason, Tyson, Julian, and William. So I'm all over the map :)

Kate Karyus Quinn said...

I tend to like more traditional names. I don't know if I have anything against K names for guys, although they are wonderful for girls;)

I am actually reading Graceling right now and have been thinking how I hate the name of the male MC/love interest, which is Po. I know it's not a K. Maybe I have a thing against P's instead.

Anonymous said...


Miranda, Marta... I might be partial to M.


Sherry Ficklin said...

So, I just changed my Mc from Chris to Kris. *hangs head in shame*

Elana Johnson said...

Sherry! I was drinking Ginger Ale when I read your comment! *spew* That is the funniest thing ever!!

Dude, mand, now I know where I get my J fetish.

Janet, one of my female MC's was Annie, my all-time favorite name. I read something somewhere that said there are a lot of A girl names, like authors can't think past the first letter of the alphabet. So I've noticed that too.

Jenn, babynamewizard is now bookmarked. Thanks for yet another way to /research./ LOL!

Kate, no P for you.

Coll, M is right in the Mmmmiddle of the pack.

Michelle, you are always all over the map! It's a good thing, girl!

*grumble* Now I actually have to make the chart. Off to excel...

Anonymous said... this post...So my ale characters are basic names - like Jason, David, Seth, Jared, Zac, etc.

But I have to admit I have some K names coming in my next story....

Annie Louden said...

I am also partial to your all-time favorite name. :)

In my current wip I have Charlie, Aaron, Paige, Lydia, Herb, Becky, Bart, Lucas, Ambrr.

The two characters I started with were Aaron and Charlie. Later that year I met my to-be husband Aaron, and at the time he was living with his mom's boyfriend, Chuck. Eerie.

~Jamie said...

I LOVE m's and a's! They roll around in my mind when I am reading them... yum.

I have Adam Makin, Max Andrews, and Amy See... with See being the only one that doesn't live in the wonderfulness that is M's and A's!

My latest character is Megan McGee... yum saying that makes me hungry for skittles... weird, I know.

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