Sunday, January 10, 2010

Character Names

I'd like to hear from some fellow writers about the following:

How do you choose your characters' names?

I actually spend a fair bit of time on this and just when I think I have it, I change my mind again.

Do you dig through old yearbooks? Look at the phone directory? Use friends/family/neighbours/acquaintances for inspiration about character naming?

Are surnames harder than first names? Do you have diminutives or nicknames for your characters? Do you try not to have too many first names that begin with the same letter? How important are names to your readers? Is it hard to avoid cliches with some names/characters? Finally, is it more of a challenge to come up with ethnic names/names that reflect diversity?

My second manuscript is done - and has been done for a while - but I'm still not 100% happy with the first name of one of the key characters. Sigh...

1 comment:

  1. I look at pro sport rosters, ton of great names there. Of course I don't use their first and last name, I mix and match.

    I’ll search for days to find the right name that fits the char in my head. i hate having chars with the same starting first name, so I don't do it; if at all possible.

    I don't have an issue with finding diversity in ethnic names.

    I don't use friends or family for names but I use them as char characteristic and dialog...
    Congrats of finishing the second novel!