If you’re a writer, you’ll definitely like this article. If you’re not, well… now you can catch a glimpse at how the process of coming up with names for the characters goes for some writers.
Each person has its own way of doing things, and today I want to share mine. Picking names can be a piece of cake or a pain in the ass — excuse the language.
The easy way? Choose a name you already know and like, or search for names and pick one you find interesting.
Oh, I’ve never taken the easy routes in life.
I have this belief that a name is crucial, that it can influence one’s life in an unknown way. I can’t randomly choose a name. There must be a meaning behind it, a reason; it has to resonate with the character. As an example, in my first novel, the name of the heroine was “Spencer White.” In my opinion, Spencer, as it can be a fit name for both genres, was perfect for her, who was a kind of masculine in behaviour at times, while maintaining her femininity. White was the contrast I chose to emphasise in regards to her quite dark past.
The process itself…
… is not as difficult as you might think. I usually think about what is the main trait of the character — and the name can always be changed later, in case I find out new things about him — and then about what can be associated with it. The first word that pops into my mind is sincerity. I would associate “honesty”, “white”, “purity”, “truth teller”. Based on this words, I would start looking for names which have a similar meaning behind. With a quick search, one will find names as “Katherine”, “Karina”, “Agnes”, “Lilian”, “Nakia”, “Tamah” — and even more, but I won’t enumerate all of them.
Exhale. The hard time passed. Now, I only have to pick one of them. Depending on how indecisive I am at that moment, it’s harder or easier — who am I kidding? It’s hard; sometimes, all of them sound good
… a character is born.