Endearments in Romance

31 Aug

When I’m building characters for my books I always think about their interactions first and foremost. Once names have been establishe at some point, this thought process inevitably comes around to what the hero & heroine call each other. I take into account the personalities I’ve built for these characters, their backgrounds and history, the nature of their relationship and the stage it’s at. I want to make it as realistic as possible, but it has to be consistent, believable, something the reader will relate to. Will there be shortened names, nicknames, pet names, endearments? Perhaps there’s something one of them calls the other that’s not very complimentary? In a book I just finished writing, the heroine calls the hero ‘Mr. Hot Bod’ and it’s not meant to be a positive. At first anyway :), but it fits the more ‘in your face’ character of the heroine. In my book, PAY UP, the hero has a shortened name for the heroine that only he uses. They’re friends and it’s developed over time, so it works. It’s really it’s own form of endearment. I’ve also written books where there’s nothing and that fit the characters and the story as well.

This planning aspect can be a lot of fun. As with most things in writing, there’s often an element of reality from the writer’s life
and I use a lot of what I see, hear and experience as inspiration. It usually never translates literally, but often there’s a seed of realism from somewhere there. So when coming up with endearments? Well, I eavesdrop a lot LOL. A LOT! Of course, there’s a great deal I hear that I would NEVER use in a book. You won’t ever find a hero of mine using ‘snookems’ for instance. ‘Love muffin’ either. I think a lot about reader reaction in picking these types of things and how it reflects on the character, so I thought I’d throw it out there today and ask YOU. I’m always looking for new ideas!

So…what names have you been called? What endearment is your favorite, something you’ve heard or even something you’ve read in a book?

About Kaily:

Kaily Hart, a seemingly straight-laced mother of four left corporate America and a high-powered, lucrative career to be a stay at home mom. Ha! That lasted about four weeks, during which time she realized she had a deeply repressed dream —to write. And romance at that! By day, Kaily plays conservative wife and soccer mom, but at night crafts hot and steamy tales of romance and love with gorgeous heroes who wouldn’t dream of leaving the toilet set up. Ever. She’s smart and sassy, at least in her own
mind, and is trying her best to bring the alpha male solidly back to contemporary romance, one hot story at a time. Two years ago she never would have thought she’d be doing this, but now that she is? Well, you couldn’t pay her enough to do anything else.

Kaily’s books, PICTURE THIS, PAY UP, PLAY ME & POINT BLANK (yes, she has a thing for book titles that start with ‘P’), are all
currently available from Ellora’s Cave and other ebook outlets.

If anyone would want to contact me (which I would LOVE by the way) or just keep up with what I’m doing, you can find me all over:

Web – www.kailyhart.com

Blog – http://kailyhart.blogspot.com/

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/kaily.hart

Twitter – http://twitter.com/kailyhart

10 Responses to “Endearments in Romance”

  1. Nara Malone August 31, 2011 at 9:03 am #

    I hate endearments that compare women to plump things like muffin or pumpkin. I like the more exotic ones from a foreign language. The pet name I’m most often tagged with is professor. Not terribly sexy, and I don’t know why men pick that one. I use things like sugar, sweetie, and sweetheart in stories because it’s so common here in Virginia.

    • Kaily Hart August 31, 2011 at 8:18 pm #

      Nara, I hadn’t thought about the ‘plump’ angle before. I love professor! It’s unusual and sounds intimate.

  2. Marilyn Campbell August 31, 2011 at 9:44 am #

    Great topic Kaily! More than once I’ve used the ploy of having the hero insist on calling the heroine some nickname that she has asked him not to, like Lizzie instead of Elizabeth or Sugarlips…just to goad her.

    • Kaily Hart August 31, 2011 at 8:18 pm #

      I like that ploy, too. Or even the other way round which is what happened in one of my current WIPs.

  3. Jai Rose August 31, 2011 at 2:12 pm #

    Hon, I’ve talked with a lot of women in my life. Many of them don’t mind the toilet seat up. In fact, they’re thrilled that the guy put it up to begin with! Jai Rose

    • Kaily Hart August 31, 2011 at 8:19 pm #

      LOL. Good point :).

  4. Sasha Devlin August 31, 2011 at 6:13 pm #

    I love nicknames and I give them often, both to my characters and friends. By far the most ridiculous term of endearment every bestowed on me was Love Cup a la what Roger Rabbit calls Jessica Rabbit at one point in the movie. I felt silly (and melty) every time he used it. I write a fair amount of m/m and tend to you babe, baby or sweetheart in my WIPs. But I will shorten your name in a heartbeat if given half a chance!

    • Kaily Hart August 31, 2011 at 8:20 pm #

      Love Cup, huh? Why would you give me that ammunition? Willingly? Why? LOL. Thanks for stopping by, Love Cup *giggling uncontrollably*

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. My review of Exodus by April Alisa Marquette « …At Your Fingertips - September 1, 2011

    […] Endearments in Romance (passionatereads.com) […]

  2. Rachel Brimble – Author Guest Blogger — desmondhaas.com - September 17, 2011

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