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Sunday, June 10, 2012

Naming Characters

Have you ever thought of the perfect character but cannot come up with a name? I have. More often than not, I can think of absolutely everything (hair, eyes, personality) but none of the names I have seem right. Naming characters has to be my favorite and most troublesome task while writing.

Names can be so tricky. Can you name the villain something sweet like Lacy? Or what about the hot boy next store? What’s his name? Would Drew work? Does he seem like a Drew? These are just some of the questions that run through my mind while I’m trying to find that perfect name. Then when I finally find the first name, it’s like I have to start all over again to find the last name. At one point I actually opened a phone book, closed my eyes and pointed. This, just so you know, is how I found Amelia’s last name (Caldwell).

So here is a list of things I do while trying to find that perfect name.

1) Look through a phone book and see if there are any unique names that pop out.
2) Read the newspaper, especially the authors of the articles.
3) Look through baby name books.
4) Google is always a great help.

Once I’ve compiled a list of first and last names I write them out, side by side, and draw a bunch of arrows trying to match them together. Once I have the names matched up I draw more arrows to the character description. And then most of the time I go through the process again until I find that perfect name.

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