To quote the bard: What’s in a name?
For a writer, just about everything.
Once the germ of an idea has sprouted on a story, I can’t
settle to writing it until I have a title. Silly I know, but it’s beyond me.
The same with naming my characters. I might have an idea on the characters’
makeup and values and even what they look like but until they are named, it’s
an itch that can’t be scratched. Secondary characters are easy, I usually
christen them with whatever names pop into my head at the time. But the
protagonist. That’s another matter. The
name must reflect the character. Is he tough? Is he charming? Is she tough? Is she charming?
And the last name must be every bit as appealing as the first.
Which leads to the next question. Where do you find your names? I go through lists of names online and also watch the credits during movies. A great thing about list names online is that you can drill down for your particular genre: old-fashioned names, bible names, popular names, rare names, meanings of names, etc.
One of the best names I’ve read in a novel is Cuss Abbott, a
Sci-Fi about an interplanetary marshal by Doug Cooper. The name definitely fits the character.
And did you know Ian Fleming, looking for a simple masculine moniker, bequeathed the name of James Bond on his character after taking note of the name of James Bond the ornithologist. (Fleming himself was a birder.)
Some secondary characters are named for folks that have entered a drawing or won a contest. Some are named for friends or loved ones. Or some that aren’t friends or loved ones😊
Anyway you slice it, names are important. Where do yours come from?