Picking out of a hat
Let’s talk about names. There are many techniques writers use to find the perfect name for their characters. We often talk about them as though they’re our children, so it’s kind of funny to get caught researching baby names on google and having to talk family members down from a ledge! But seriously, name generators can be useful, as can reader polls. Then there are the times we sit with the characters awhile, get to know them better, and like a new born (kind of), the name we choose just seems to fit.
Whether you write out a description, or just close your eyes and conjure an image in your head, a name often follows without too much effort. If you enjoy to wing it, then names often come naturally as the story begins to unfold. Other times you might have a name, along with characteristics circling around in your mind long before you put pen to paper or sit down at a computer.
As with anything else when it comes to writing, there are occasions when the process breaks down. Times when we can’t think of a name, or the one we choose isn’t the right fit. It’s easy to get tied up in knots, especially with secondary characters or those who later become an integral part of the story. Attempts to change a name part way through a novel never really pan out, at least in my experience, because by then it almost feels like you’re stealing the character’s identity. Yes, I know how that sounds!
Needless to say, we take the whole naming ceremony seriously!
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