Monday, August 23, 2010

Choosing Names

Well, yesterday while going through the process (horrendous process) of editing, my "editor" and I decided that I should change the name of a certain character, and certain country. You may or may not find this funny, but I do! It is nearly impossible to come up with original names, and I must confess I had to scour the Internet to find the most relevant names I could! You may ask why, and in truth I don’t know why, but I just can’t settle for names like Mary and Beth, which are lovely names. But I hate when other people/characters have the same name as mine! For example, I found this picture, which I thought looked exactly like my leading male, on the Internet. I saw that it was a weird contest (which I think is a scam) where you have to create a story about this other guy’s characters. There were three princes, and the one that I thought LOOKED like my character had the same NAME as my character! I was so upset.

Generally speaking, I tried to find names with meanings that would relate to the characters. And the character's name that I was replacing, just had to have something to do with either light, or a fox, or a raven. Light, because he's just a "glowy" kind of guy (!) A fox, because he is very sly. And a raven, because that has to do with a secret organization he is in. So, I went online and came up with a list that had about 20 names on it. I brought it to my "editor" and she suggested that none of these names really suited my character... Well, was I ever upset! I had spent quite a good chunk of time coming up with this list of names and none of  them were satisfying? (Well, I wasn't really satisfied either...) So, what did we have to do? We had to spend another half an hour looking for names, for one character! And I won't tell you what time it was!!!! (Sigh)

And then, there was of course the issue of the country's name. Like I said, my book is fantasy, so in a fantasy world you expect the names of places to have original spelling and pronunciation. So I took a whole bunch of different things and paired them with different endings, and came up with 11 names... NO GOOD! However, do not worry. After what seemed like relentless effort on both my part and my "editor's" we came up with a name for my character and my land. Stay tuned!

"So, how do you come up with such original names?" you might be wondering. Well, let me just say that it isn't easy, and no matter how efficient you want to be, it does take patience and a lot of research. I must also confess that I ended up changing the names a lot. My main guy used to be named Garrett, until I found out that Garrett sounded a lot like Carrot, so I decided that my awesome warrior couldn’t be named Garrett the Carrot.

TIP: You can go on baby name sites online to find unique names (I find that very helpful). A link that I often resort to is (On this site, you can also search by meaning) Whatever you do, DO NOT STRESS OVER IT!!!!! There is always a perfect name out there, and if you get sick of looking for it, then make one up! That way, you know that that name will always be special, and yours.

1 comment:

Susan said...

Thanks! This is a very helpful site, especially since you can actually serach the name by meaning...very useful & interesting!