"Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia." ~E.L. Doctorow

Friday, May 20, 2011

Hello my name is....

When I was a kid I was one of those people who thought it would be cool to name my future children unique and exotic names, something beautifully elegant that no one else had.

Well as luck would have it, I married a man who was rather down to earth so my children were spared the therapy sessions that would have accompanied such names.

That being said, when naming my characters everything was fair game and I love being as ostentatious as possible. Its one of the good things about writing, you don't have to worry about emtionally scaring your characters. Well I suppose you could but they can't blame it on you. :D

So how do you go about naming your characters? Are there any particular things that you look for?

10 comments:

Kelly Hashway said...

Most of my characters seem to name themselves. Sometimes I have to search for last names if I need it to be from a specific origin, but most of the time I find naming pretty easy. That's a good thing too because I can't write a single word if I don't know the names of the characters I'm writing about.

Brynne said...

I was struggling with a name for a character in my novel who lives most of her life in Venice, Italy so in that place between awake and asleep I asked for help. Suddenly it came to me. I ran to the computer to google it, to be sure I wasn't intuiting a famous serial killer's name...and guess what popped up? A little known literary agent with a picture of Venetian gondalas on her website! Don't you love it when we, as writers, hit those sweet spots?

Rhi said...

I don't agree, I think you do still have to consider 'emotionally scarring' your characters, depending on the story, setting, etc. It might add to the character if they had trouble with their weird name, might be important in ways you don't realise!

MuMuGB said...

I like to give them complicated names that, as you say, would require a life of therapy if it was real....I don't know why!

wosushi said...

Some characters it comes easily. Others, not so much.

And then, there is the case where I gave a female character a name that is traditionally male and had a friend unwittingly show me that was a bad idea. :)

I do like names that have meaning when I can work it in.

C.M. Villani said...

Kelly - I'm just like you. Names just hit me out of the blue! (Which I love.) On a rare occasion I will have to search for one but mostly naming characters, chapters, and other stuff come easy.

They're usually exotic though. :)

C.M. Villani said...

Brynne- DON'T YOU LOVE THAT!!! That's always a fun "the universe is talking" moments.

C.M. Villani said...

Rhi - hahaha. ah yes, and I have read books where the MC curses ever being named whiat ever it has to be. :) But they are never going to say "Curse you RHI! How could you name me ..."

C.M. Villani said...

Muriel - they are fun names! They're just something that makes your imagination tingle. :)

C.M. Villani said...

Wosushi- hahaha. That reminds me of an issue I had in my first story. I originally named the love interest Christian...which was was too close to my name. It was bugging the heck out of me but I loved the name so I let it go.

Then I gave my first few chapters to my friend to read and she pointed it out. I just had to change it after that. :D

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