Crafting the Heroine Part I––Part VII of Writing Romance

Here’s what we know so far about Susie, our romantic heroine. She’s Jewish, she fears rejection, and she’s a rabbi. She thinks she’s ugly because her nose is long. She stutters when she gets nervous. She has flowing chestnut hair with great styling body. Her eyes are dark and beautiful, lips the perfect proportion. The romantic heroine’s flaws leave room for complementary strengths in the hero. Click to Tweet #amwriting #CraftingTheHeroine

Let’s do more work on Susie.

Naming Your Heroine

We’ve been calling her Susie, but maybe we should find a good Jewish name for her, such as Hannah, or Tovah, or Rebekkah. What do you think? Tovah reminds me of the actress, Tovah Feldshuh. I like the name. No one but a Jewish girl would have a name like that. Tovah’s her first name.

Maybe Cohen should be her last name. Tovah Cohen is a great Jewish name. Cohens, as I understand it, are descendants of the Levites, those charged with taking care of the tabernacle and the temple. Sounds good for a woman rabbi.


Thinking of the connotations of the name you choose for your romance heroine is important. And, it’s precisely why in renaming Susie to Tovah, we’ve left little doubt as to Tovah’s heritage, background, and race.

If you name your heroine Bree, what nicknames would other characters come up with? Breezy, as in air-headed? You probably don’t want that connotation.

Once you have this basic information about your heroine, you can begin to add personality traits, backstory, and all those things to make Tovah a three-dimensional character.

Before diving into Tovah too deeply, we can begin to craft the hero. We’ll get to him next time.

In naming your romantic heroine, choose a name that will reflect and personify your leading lady. Click to Tweet #amwriting #CraftingTheHeroine

How are you liking Tovah so far? Leave a comment and let me know.

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