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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

More on Character Names

For a couple of weeks now, I've looked at how we name our fictional children, the "people" born of our imaginations. I've even included some helpful tips.

This week I've found a baby names site that includes some helpful tips for writers. Check it out if you're looking for ideas.

I love that first hint about making the names age-appropriate. When I was working on A CHRISTMAS RECIPE, I was so conscious of the generational changes in popular names that I figured out which year each of my characters had been born and used my computer to look up the ten most popular baby names for that year.

With the exception of the character named Michael (#1 for decades!), most of my characters got the sixth-through-tenth most popular names of their birth years.

The baby names site has some great ideas, especially about using unique names for unusual characters. Since my character from MAGGIE RISING has some highly unusual abilities, I decided to stick her with a highly unusual legal name (Eastern Star Rising), but to give her a common nickname so readers might identify with her more readily. I think it worked!

Do you have any hints for how you choose character names?

1 comment:

  1. I pick cultures that i feel my characters family might have come from then I look up names and meanings from that culture and find a name that might fit the personality of my character. I also like to use last names I find in my family geneology that would match the first names I give my strongest example is Johnathan Michael Mulkahy.

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