Saturday, August 23, 2014

Choosing a name

First I must say I am so sorry. But my excuse will calm your complaining. We found out my dog has Cancer last week. I volunteered to organize sponsoring a child for my youth group. I went on a fast of only going online once a day for a week. And we had guests.

But I am taking some of my precious time and writing you patient people a post. ;)

Today we will talk about choosing a name. Let me just say beforehand that I am not going to give you a bunch of rules like most posts on naming character do.


Rule #1: Always- Just Kidding ;P

Now I like examples so this post will probably have quite a few.

When starting a story you might already have the name or you might just have the plot. But either way most likely you'll change it. I have two WIPs that I'm working on and I've changed both of MC's names. Plus several minor characters names.

One I started out with Bell, then it changed to Bella Quest, (Because I like the name Bella better), then I realized that 'Bella' and 'Quest' both have five letters and apparently that's a big no, no in the writing world. So I decided on Bailey Quest. The last name Quest had really gotten stuck on me and it's also part of the theme. And the 'B' also was something I didn't really want to get rid of.

There is also the 'rule' of why is your character named what they are. Bailey doesn't really have a background to her first name. Robin and all the other characters from Falconston do. They are in a world where they worship birds. So everyone has a name that is somehow connected to birds. Robin, Caique, Sparrow, Blue, and others.

Then from the WIP that Owyn and I are working on together, I have A' Mercy. Her full name is Anna Mercy. Her mother's name was Anna. Her mother was very brave and outgoing, but then she died. A' Mercy is a bit on the shy and quiet side, and she doesn't feel she deserves the name. So she shortened her own to be 'A' Mercy'.

Now see how not every character has some back-story to their name. I don't suggest giving every character something. But I do suggest that you give at least one character in every book you write to have some back-story. And mix it up as much as you'd like. :)

Then we also have the 'rule' of not giving two important characters names with the same amount of letters. I try my best to avoid that one. But it's one that, 'Really? Suck it up, readers.' ;P

Give characters age appropriate names. Don't give the new-born baby a name like Mabel. I personally like the name, but nobody names their kids Mabel anymore. If you're writing historical novels research the most popular names during that period. Not when the book takes place, but when they would have been born.  

And lastly, choose a name that you like. If you name your MC Harold, but you don't like the name, do you really think you're going to want to come back to the story? And please use names like John, Josh, and any other popular names to a minimum. ;)

Don't give your character first and last names that have the same amount of letters
Don't give two characters names with the same amount of letters
Give at least one character in each WIP a background to their name (It really is kinda fun)
Give age and era appropriate names
Choose names that you like

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