Monday, August 25, 2008

What's In A Name?

Naming my characters is not difficult, but it is a long process. Not just any name will do. I f I name a character something that doesn’t fit right, the characters will let me know it. They will protest and not tell me their stories. Therefore, I have to make sure that I’m picking the right name or else I get stuck.

I use several online naming sites to help me pick the names. One site is for first names and I have a couple that I use for last names. I also have a site that gives random names, in which I can choose for it to give me both first and last names. Sometimes, I’ll find just one name this way but I’ll find gems that I can use for secondary characters as well.

I’ve also been known to go through the phonebook and pick names. The problem with that is that some of the names are regional and not something that would work in a different state.

Sometimes I’ve been lucky enough that my characters will tell me their names flat out. That doesn’t happen very often, but it does occur once in a while. I also have to take into account whether or not the name is appropriate for a hero or heroine. Sometimes, names may be unique, but just not fitting for the character part.

I also don’t like to reuse character names, so I keep a list of the one’s I’ve used to prevent me from picking a name again. I just have to remember to keep it updated. If I get carried away with a story, sometimes I forget about everything else but it.

This is my method of naming my characters. Do you have a different method that you use? I’d love to hear it. Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

3 deadly screams:

Pheebles said...

Sierra, I was wondering if you could tell us the links to some of the name sites you use? Especially the one that will generate random names?

Thanks,
Meg

Molly Daniels said...

LOL:) I've also used the phone book, and sometimes my HS yearbook!

Sierra Wolfe said...

Absolutely I'll share that information ;)

Random Name Generator
http://www.seventhsanctum.com/generate.php?Genname=quickname

First Names
http://www.babynames.com/

Last Names
http://www.last-names.net/Articles/Place.asp

http://genealogy.about.com/library/surnames/bl_meaning.htm

Hope these are helpful to you! On the random name generator, you can set it to generate different amounts of names. I usually let it create several and pick from them. Sometimes, I go through it several times before I find the one I want. It all just depends. Have fun creating names!

Sierra