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Thread: What are your naming quirks?
January 9th, 2013 02:07 AM #1
What are your naming quirks?
When you write a story, do you have any rules or research that goes into naming? Or do you just pick random names that you like? Do you look at meaning or when the name was popular? Origin? Tell me!
For me, I usually pick a nationality or two to make all the names "feel" like they go together. Unless I want the name to sound like it doesn't belong. I generally won't put a Mary and a Sparrow in the same story- they just don't go. For my latest story, I've chosen all Greek and Latin names, with a few exceptions- Aurelia, Briony, Calista, Damien, Elani, Flavian, Gabriel... Oh, and maybe you've caught my other naming quirk: alphabetical.
I cannot stand it when I have characters who have the same initials. Connie and Chance. David and Dinyaza. It bothers me. I go to great lengths to keep each character having its own initial. (Chance is an example of me failing at this- his name was High Chancellor Page, but he went by Chance, not Page. Stupid villain. Dinyaza was a villain too. Stealing my letters- grr!) Maybe it's because I like to abbreviate in my notes: F goes on a journey. If there's only one guy with an F name, then I know it's Flavian's journey, not Francisca's or Frederick's. Or maybe I just don't like names that sound similar because I'll get confused.
I once had a character named M in a story. I named him after my brother Martin, and his twin after my brother Daniel. They were M and Dan for a year, and then I realized that M needed a full name, and Martin wasn't going to work. It had to be one syllable. I wanted to name him Mark. But I'd already named their best friend's (one of my main characters) little brother Marcos. And there was no way I could have Mark and Marcos. So he ended up Matt. Mark might have fit him better, but Matt would do. Maybe this was why I avoid the same-letter thing.
My current story has 22 characters: Aurelia, Briony, Calista, Damien, Elani, Flavian, Gabriel, Haemon, Ignatius, Julian, Kyrie, Lysander (Damien's alias), Melina, Nerine, Olympia, Pandora, Quentyn, Rhodes, Sebastian, Thaddeus, Ulixes, Verity, and Wencelas "Wen". The only problem is- what do I do when I run out of letters?Teenage Name Geek & Author
Beauty is Blind:Aurelia Dawn, Briony Sage & Calista Rose; Damien Lysander
Twice Upon a Time: Contenza "Connie" & Jensina "Jennie"
GIRLS: Antonia Jude "Annie" Rosalind Briar "Lindy" Felicity Snow, Tabitha Belle, Briallen
BOYS: Gabriel Kai, Sebastian Lawrence, Benedict Jotham, Lionel James, Nathaniel
January 9th, 2013 08:15 AM #3
In the case of my main characters they all end up pretty much telling me what their names are whether I like them or not. In 'The Self Invention' my main characters are Grace, Cashel, Ayella and Robin. I'm not particularly a fan of Grace or Robin but I can't do anything about it. Those are their names and they wouldn't suit any others. It's a little annoying but I have found that using names I wouldn't normally choose makes the story seem more realistic in a way.
For minor characters I tend to search through lists of names until I come across one and just know that it's the name they're meant to have. Once again, it might be a name I loathe.
As my story is set in a parallel world to ours I also have another issue to contend with: using world appropriate names. A few names - like Grace and Robin - fit fine as they're short and not particularly steeped in any set culture but others just don't work. For example, I wanted to use Genevieve for the queen but the name sounded far too French for a lady who had married into a psuedo-German family from a psuedo-Italian one. With a bit of thought, Genevieve became Genovetta which was perfect. I did the same with a lot of other names and compiled a huge list of names for future use that all sound like they belong in 19th century Bretton.~Boys~
Jory Leander Atticus, August Eli Benedict, Casimir Mordecai Stewart,
Edmond John Meirion, Horatio Ethell Emery, Bram William Jasper,
Julian Remy Charles, Vasiliy Lochlan Michael.
Aira Rose ___, Eleni Fiorella Charlotte, Sylvia Sayuri Noor,
Merit Eleanora Adelaide, Clover Elodie Seraphine, Bridie Scarlett Viola,
Marguerite Cecilia Iris, Eilidh Clara Valentine.
Sorry to anyone who read TSI. First draft was terrible. Second drafting now.
January 9th, 2013 03:37 PM #5Senior Member
- Join Date
- Jan 2012
I go through a lot of lists or, like you said, I choose a nationality and go with it. Renrose's way of doing it is pretty much the same as mine. Usually, I don't name the character until I come to them in the story. I'll have their personality and appearance mapped out, but I find that I manage to get further quicker on my stories when I have the naming process to look forward to all throughout the writing. It's like an incentive, because I get so insanely excited when it comes time to put a name to my thoughts
Once in a great while, I get a name in my head for a character that won't go away no matter how many lists I look at, so I end up going with it. Like the name Reema. Is that even a name? I don't like it at all, but I used it as one of my main character's siblings.Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. - Albert Einstein
Girls: Seraphine, Kristabel, Magdalena, Shiloh, Opal, Jobie, Calla, Seeley, Noelle, Mara, Lucille
Boys: Robin, Gabriel, Mackenzie, Nash, Phillip, Raphael, Edmund, Abraham, Lewis, Pierce, Link
Current Crushes: Mackie and Devlin
January 9th, 2013 08:42 PM #7
Haha, aww. That alphabetical quirk is a challenging one!
Personally, the names often just come to me. The few times I need to hunt for names, I tend to form the personality first, and then look for names with relating meanings, or feels.
I've also taken to looking up names that correspond to the character's zodiac sign/personality. I use the Zodiac to help form a lot of my characters...if not all of them.
I found a book that has hundreds of names sorted by the Zodiac. That's been invaluable, I also just google search somethings as well.
My biggest naming quirk is that I don't have a set formula or method. I try/do a little bit of everything.Laurel - 21 - Toronto
January 9th, 2013 10:15 PM #9
My method for my naming madness has sort of changed since I discovered name forums. But as for quirks, I really only have two:
Good guys always get names I love, and bad guys get names I hate. lol. I guess it makes them that much easier to love/hate!
And characters. There are always tons of characters! Probably because I love coming up with names and I love people, like genuinely care about them, have a heart for their happiness, am such a stinkin' bleeding heart that it's not even funny. So I come up with way too many characters, but I can never seem to get rid of any.Ashley
twenty-something namenerd and aspiring novelist
Isabelle + Arianne + Olivia + Violet + Charlotte + Emmeline + Grace + Eleni
Caleb + Everett + Jack + Avery + Samuel + Caspar + Grant + Rory