They're fine but a little generic. Haines is the most interesting but if you already have 2 H surnames it might be overkill. Ables is a little too allegorical for the hero.
Owen is a more interesting name than Chris, so if you choose Chris you need to have a more distinctive surname. With Owen you can get away with something like Graham (though I wouldn't use a first name as a surname as it can confuse your readers).
It seems like you're gravitating towards Irish/Anglo-Saxon names and that's the ethnicity you'd like your character to have. Ideas:
Thanks so much for the help, blade. I love writing, but I think I am the worst person in the world for naming characters.
I really like Owen Trask.
About Haines, I could change the character with the lastname Harbor. I've been up in the air about that characters last name also. However, Hawkins has to stay. It totally fits that character and I've never had any doubts about it.
great, glad you liked it.
If you liked any other surnames on the list above, you could swap out Harbor for one. Harbor is a tough name because it's a little too word-namey to be taken seriously; it automtically reduces the character to a bit of a stereotype. Like you're shouting at the audience "this character is good and safe! like a harbor!"
Name sterotypes are so tough. As you say, the last name Harbor having a safe vibe to it. I don't get how some names are pulled off. One of the best t.v. shows ever is Lost and I always thought the charater Ben Linus had such a sterotypical name because Linus.....he was a character nobody could trust. Lie....Linus...the last name was too obvious. Now, John Locke....that was a brilliant name. John is a strong name, and Locke sort of feels mysterious and John Locke was a character who was hard to figure out.
I'm going to go with Owen Trask. It sounds harder with Owen which has a soft sound to it. This character was a little bit of a rebel growing up and his wife is the one that keeps him in line. As much as I like Owen Hines, Owen Trask just sounds a little tougher.
Now, Owen's wife....I've been calling her Penny. She just feels like a Penny. However, their seven-year-old daughter, who I was calling Cassidy; I think I'll have to change it. Cassidy Trask might be too much of a mouthful? Any suggestions?
I actually really, really like Cassidy Trask! I think it sounds very nice, and really rolls off the tongue. But if you're sure you want to change it, I think Helena Trask sounds nice. Actually, I think you could pull off just about any first name that has that "uh" sound at the end. Helena Trask, Aurora Trask, Annabella Trask, Synthia Trask, Adrianna Trask, Laura Trask. They all sound great.
I think the consonance in Cassidy Trask is really good.
For the wife-- Penny is a rather sweet, upper-class name, esp in the US/Canada. For the age group in question-- 30yo-- no one blue-collar was named Penelope. Since the character is dead, I'd use a placeholder name, very popular in the late 70s, to demonstrate her 'everyman' appeal.
Wow....so Cassidy works? I said it five or six times and I got a little tongue tied. LOL I love Cassidy and really want to use it. I also like the suggestion Annabella with the NN Bella....it would be cute. Ummm.....I struggle so much with names.....I like Cassidy and it works so I'm just gonna stick with it.
Just a note: the wife is upperclass. Her and Owen are pretty much a major case of opposites attract. However, I see what you mean. Owen is so different from the wife, but one of the things that first attracted the wife to Owen was how he made her feel safe. There is almost a foot difference in their height so hugging Owen is like hugging a teddy bear.
Kimberly aka Kimmy
Jennifer aka Jen or Jenny
Rebecca aka Becca
I think I like Jen or Jenny best?
Thanks for the suggestions.
I really want to thank my fellow berries for helping me nail down Owen Trask. The name is really growing on me....actually it's perfect for him. I really appreciate all the help. :)
Just so you know, the character John Locke was named in reference to the political philosopher.