What’s in a Name?

There are some writers who can conjure up a manuscript and pick names for their characters after the characters have been written. I am not one of those writers. In my mind, names and personalities go hand-in-hand. When I think of a name, an image and some character traits immediately snap into place.

So, you would think that I would have settled on a name for every important character before I started writing that character, right? Wrong.

Instead of doing what works well for me, I went ahead and created an unnecessary challenge. After all, what would life be without those self-inflicted stressful moments when you lie awake until 4am, breaking out into little, tiny patches of eczema?

I’m now stuck with a character that has a full-fledged personality and no name. I’ve gone through a long list of existing names and created several new ones, and none of them feel right. I know I’ll stumble across it eventually, (probably at 4am when I’m desperately trying to sleep because, you know, my brain is sadistic like that). Until then, I’m going to continue doing research and keep a very important lesson in mind for the future: figure out what works best for me and stick to it.

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One comment on “What’s in a Name?

  1. I totally agree. It seems that naming characters is as significant as naming a newborn child: they will live with this name forever (typically). When you think about how people talk about Katniss or Lyra or even Tony Soprano…those names hold weight on their own. I can totally see why it would occupy your mind so much!

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