Tuesday, 2 April 2013

A-Z of Writing - B

 


One of my favourite parts of writing is developing characters and I love picking out names. I sometimes use online name generators or popular baby names lists but I also have a trusy baby name book. I've had this book since I was about 13 and it cost 50p - bargain! I like how I can flick through the book and pick a page at random or match a character with the meaning or origin of a name.

The funny thing is, it was NO USE at all when it came to naming my oldest daughter (her name isn't even in there).

How do you decide on names for characters?


 
This post is part of the A-Z Challenge. Click here to see all the other participants




18 comments:

  1. I find names quite difficult. Often names of people I know can creep in, though obviously not the traits of the people, or I'd be in real trouble! I tend to look at the credits on TV programmes I'm watching and get some idea's from there.

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    1. I look out for names in the credits too, particularly surnames.

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  2. Absolutely me too! I remember from literally the minute the blue line (or pink dot in my case) appeared on the pregnancy test I was picking names. That failed as we actually changed our minds when we saw both our boys, we'd picked Kane for the eldest and Bradley for youngest. They turned out Elliot and Ciaran!
    I love picking character names but I've been known to change them as often!

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    1. Our oldest didn't have a name for a couple of days (because we didn't have 9 months to choose one *rolls eyes at herself*)

      With my last book, I wrote the 90,000 word first draft before deciding my two MCs didn't suit their names and changed them in the second draft.

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  3. My characters often go unnamed for a very long time. Then something just arrives and tends to stick.

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    1. I like it when you find *the* name. Feels like it was always meant to be.

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  4. I usually gather names from movie and tv credits. If that fails, I pick a starting letter and then play around with the keyboard until a name clicks.

    Those baby name books didn't help when it came to naming my kids either. :)

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    1. Baby names books are rubbish for actual baby names, aren't they?

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  5. Once, I flicked through a television program magazine and chose a name for my character from one that sounded right.

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    1. I've never used a tv magazine before *adds to list for future use*

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  6. I love coming up with names too, but I actually find it one of the most difficult parts in writing a story. The name has to be JUST right. One of my new favorite baby name books is Hello: My Name is Pabst.

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    1. I can sit there for hours choosing a name and yet sometimes the 'right' name pops out straight away.

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  7. I've got a few baby name books scattered around the house (my wife and I have three little girls)and I definitely dip in and out of them for character names (if I don't just go along with a nameless first person narrator or with third-person speaking in pronouns.) Occasionally I choose characters' first names with the names' meanings being what I'm interested in - but I do try and make it a bit cryptic, I'm not going to call a barrel maker Cooper, or an archer Fletcher!

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    1. I know what you mean. I hope I'm a bit more subtle than that too.

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  8. I'm a feature writer, but I've attempted fiction writing a few times. The names just seemed to float in the air and I grabbed it. Not too methodical, I suppose :-)

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    1. Can you share your floating names? ;-)

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  9. I own a baby name book. My friends think it's funny since I'm still single.

    Sometimes it's easier to google names though. You get a lot of related names in the list. :)

    anna
    Deeply Shallow

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    1. Yes, Google is a good friend of mine.

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