Thursday, March 25, 2010

What's In A Name?

For the last couple weeks I've been outlining the story for Lair. Everything is going along great, but I am experiencing something that for the life of me I cannot seem to surmount very easy: naming my characters. Oh, I can shut my eyes and see them in my head. The color of their hair, their families, their jobs, their personalities, their quirks....but not their names. I have never had so much difficulty coming up with names for these folks. I've tried random name generators on the Internet, but while that has given me some names, I tend to dislike most that are suggested. I've tried mixing up the first and last names of people I know, but am afraid that if they do ever read the finished product, they'll be offended somehow. What to do? How do you come up with names for your characters?

6 comments:

Natalie L. Sin said...

I use "search baby names" on this site. It lets you choose first letter, how many syllables, origin, etc. It's a life saver!

Natalie L. Sin said...

http://www.babynames.com/

Cate Gardner said...

I have a dictionary of names - surnames, first names, place names. I also sometimes use the internet if I want something like a name that means fire or green or cowardly. I also like to keep names from spam emails - they can be very inventive.

ggray said...

I use the internet to find names based on the character's ancestry and nationality so it seems appropriate their parents would choose such a name. Older people have names based on family heritage, famous dignitaries, religious anmes like saints, authors, etc. Native people use names related to nature. But younger Americans use names based on film and TV celebrities. When my daughter was born in the early 70's & 80's, b efore a lot of the women went into the work force, soap opera names were popular! Go figure! Now sports people's names are popular too. So a lot depends on their ancestry, location at birth and what year they were born as far as trends go.

Jamie Eyberg said...

I usually name my characters after people I have met but am not particularly close to.

Aaron Polson said...

Cate's very right about spam. I've been having fun with baby name sites, especially for African, Afghan, and Gypsy names of late.