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Worse than naming a child.

15 March 2011

I blogged a couple of months ago about naming characters, but that one was about naming them annoying, silly names that people in real life don’t usually have as a shorthand for making characters interesting. I’m not a huge fan of that, and it takes me right out of the story when I see it.

But when it comes to naming a character a “normal” name, what’s the best way to choose? What influences do you use?

I’ve never had to name a child, and I’m not planning on it anytime soon, but I think even that will be easier. You take a family name or a name of someone who has been important to you and give it to the kid. Bravo. But now those names are taken, and you can’t necessarily use them for characters in a story.

I’ve got no real answers for you here, just questions. How do you choose your character names?

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Heidi Helene(@DreamFog) permalink
    15 March 2011 1231

    Bella. Princess. I told Abby(my dtr) to combine the two names to come up with one that is possibly original. Rinla, Alless, Elpri, Cesla. Turn them backwards, Irple Sella, Alsec, Alnir. Those all sound awful, but we started with awful so that makes sense, lol. You can do the same thing with last names, which is what I’d think a writer would need to do the most. Jolie-Pitt. Joit, Liepit, Jopit.Pijol. If your character was named Rinla Liepit, I don’t think anyone would ever guess that you actually got the name from Princess Bella Jolie-Pitt 😀

    • 15 March 2011 1235

      What an interesting way to go about it. One of my old tricks was to watch movie credits — the long, drawn-out parts with all the technical people — and grab first names and last names from there, then mix them up.

  2. 15 March 2011 1254

    I use a random name generator, wikipedia’s list of who is who and from where, and mix them up. I have no idea how to do that in a fantasy setting though

  3. 15 March 2011 1614

    I usually grab a friend’s middle name, drop that into a search engine, and take the first two names that come up in the first news article with that name……and now you’re looking back over my novel and nodding to yourself about how that makes sense, lol

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