Monday, May 25, 2009

Blog Chain: How do you come up with your characters names?

Whew, I almost forgot it was my turn to start the blog chain this week! It's only 11:15 so I'm good. I was on a little road trip today and something I was thinking about were character names. Maybe it's because a writing buddy and I discussed how some of our minor characters are based off of people we actually know.


How do you come up with your characters names?

Strangely enough I can't seem to give a solid answer on this when it comes to my main characters. Those names just seem to have come to me out of the blue. Except for Gabriel and
Michael. They were inspired from the names of angels. (no they aren't actually angels)

Now the minor characters are pretty much made up of people in my life. Aside from the not so nice ones. Like the two girls who try to move in on Abbey's man, they have random names. I didn't want to insult my loved ones by making them snot nosed witches that go around stealing other girls men!

I like naming characters as people I know. It's like a fun little shout out to the people I care about. I've been having fun using the names of my critique group as I'm writing the sequel to Sage. It's so fun to not tell them and let them find it as they review the new chapters. And of course I use my son's name. What kind of mother would I be if I didn't give credit to my biggest inspiration?

One of the stories I started and have waiting on my desktop needed a really cool name, something that represented her icy blue eyes in a world full of brown eyed people of the future. I searched all kinds of name name lists and found one I loved that actually meant water, which of course always makes you think of blue. That's the only one I researched so far though.

Stop by the other blogs from the blog chain to see how they come up with their fabulous names.

Monday- me
Tuesday- From Elysium
Wednesday- Lin Wang - Teen Writer
Thursday- Girl With A Notebook
Friday- Somewhere Nowhere In My Kingdom


ElanaJ said...

This topic fascinates me and I did several posts on male and then female character names. The one I just chose? Bristol because I was watching an interview by Bristol Palin and I thought that was such a cool, unique name.

Elizabeth McKenzie said...

Have you ever noticed how many Jack's there are in stories. Will, mine too. Jack is such a solid name and fits any character you want.

Anyway, I usually start to wrtie and by the time I need a name it appears on the paper. In my current WIP, both my sister's and my brother's names are used. My brother is the bad guy, my sister is questionable. But my sister's name is Penelope, and it fits the character perfectly. For a last name, I'm using one from a patient, I do pretest for an eye doctor. The patient's name is Sigafoose, so Penelope's full name in the book is Penelope Sigafoose. Still, it's perfect for her. I'm not sure what the patient would think, but, he'll never read the book anyway.

Lady Glamis said...

This seems to be floating around (and not because of the blog chaing from what I've seen!)

I get my names from wherever and whenever. Whatever works, hehe. I usually focus on the sound of the name more than the meaning. I've never changed a name from what I originally picked, although I'm sure I may have to do that one day.

The funny thing is when you start to notice how everybody else is using a name you thought was original... :)

Icy Roses said...

Haha, speaking of giving character names to people you know. The few friends I have who are aware that I write constantly beg to have a minor character, even if the character does not have their name or their characteristics. They all scramble to call "dibs." This is a weird phenomenon, maybe your friends do it too?

To ElanaJ - I love the name Bristol too. I suspect it will be more popular now that someone in the national spotlight has it.

I randomly clicked back through my old posts and saw you have a niece who may be reading Percy Jackson? I don't think third grade is too young. I think it's less scary and more engaging than Harry Potter, actually, especially for young kids who need something action-packed to keep them interested. PJO is written to appeal to a younger audience. I am a huge fan (obviously)!

beth said...

Names come easy to me--it's always either after someone I know (irl, or a character/movie star/etc.) or I use a baby name book and look for names with meaning.

I like playing on words. So a MG fantasy based on the Bellerophon myth was called Belle Ravena.