||Almost every author blog has, at some point or another, a post about the difficulty in finding the right name for a character. Everybody has their own way of finding them and everybody has names they would never use.
I certainly couldn't give a hero or heroine a name that belonged to somebody I've had a negative experience with at some time or another, although I could quite happily use on of those names for the wicked step-mother type characters.
I have a word document that's full of names. Well, two of them, actually. Two documents, that is, not two names. One for female names and one for male. Every time I hear or see a name that I like the sound of, into the document it goes. It doesn't necessarily have to be a nice name as such, but one that I feel could be turned into a character.
Y'see, most times, when I'm developing a new character, I just pick a name and try to envisage who would have that name. What would she look like? How would she speak? What would she wear? Where would she work? In fact, I often find that's the easiest way to build a character as the times I've developed my character first and then tried to find a name... well, I wouldn't like to say how long I've spent trying to find the right one. No, the name into character way definitely works best for me.
Obviously, if it's the mean aunt or a miserable uncle I'm trying to find a name for, I'll only look at names that immediately conjure up unpleasant characters, but as I have them in a separate area of my file, that's easy enough. Where an Ivy, to me, would be a kindly woman, a Doris wouldn't. So I'd grab Doris from the list and start imagining her, gradually fleshing her out until I have a fully-formed character to use.
But I have been known to find character names purely by accident, too. Like the old woman I called Daisy because she was a miserable old cow and the hero I called Lance because he was so sharp witted.
I'm always fascinated by what others do so if you have the time, stop by the comments box and let me know how you go about naming your characters, would you? Or if you have a post on your own blog about it, just point me in the right direction.
An article by Caro Clarke - Problems With Names & How To Avoid Them
Not about naming your characters but what to look out for so that you don't give them the wrong kind of names.
Technorati Tags: Naming Characters, Writing Novels, Fiction