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View Poll Results: Do you choose unusual or common names for your characters?

Voters
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  • Common names

    1 4.55%
  • Unusual names

    1 4.55%
  • I often use common names, but sometimes choose unusual ones

    3 13.64%
  • I often use unusual names, but sometimes choose common ones

    4 18.18%
  • It depends very much on the character or situation.

    13 59.09%
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Results 6 to 8 of 8
  1. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    1,987
    I write contemporary, so I use a mixture of common names and slightly less common, depending on the situation.

    One story has sibset Marnie and Jethro, which are pretty unusual, but then friends Natalie, which is really common, and Freya May, which is sort of middle ground. Another has sisters River, Summer and Skye, which are a bit matchy but that fits in with the parents' tastes. Another has sisters Megan and Gemma, both pretty common names in the UK in the 80s/90s, when the characters would have been born. Yet another has a Kimberly, with brothers Tom and Patrick. Nothing I use is completely unheard of or made up, but some are more familiar than others, depending on what sort of name fits the character best.

    Anna Katherine * Lydia Ellen * Zoe Madeleine * Phoebe ___ * Imogen ___ * Emilia ___
    Samuel * Thomas * Charlie * Reuben * Oliver * George


  2. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Europa ;)
    Posts
    99
    I write fantasy, and I go totally gung-ho and create naming languages for different nations/cities/stories. Some turn out better than others (I'm contemplating completely revamping the current one), but it's a constant learning curve. I guess I slot firmly in "unusual," then, although I try to keep names pretty common. I'll even base some naming languages around names from real-world cultures; for example, my current story has a Leila in it, even though it's totally alternate-world.

    Of course, this current story is pretty different from "regular" swords and dragons and maidens fantasy, because it's a mash-up of 1920's America, 1920's Germany, the Industrial Age, the Progressive Era, and (you'll never see it coming) the French Revolution. It's thrown some interesting wrenches into the naming process, because I want the names to sound fresh to both my modern ears and to the ears of the characters in this world. So I'm not only going for unusual in one world, I'm going for unusual in two.
    Hi there. My pen name is Diana (or akky, whichever you prefer).
    I'm here to find names for characters, not babies, though I do love working with kids.
    "Sometimes all you get is twenty pages, but you've got to make the best of it"--my mother
    If you need help with fantasy names, I'm your gal!
    Current WiPs: *Sometimes Falling Stars*

  3. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    869
    I almost always focus on meanings. The first thing I do when I create a character is pick some defining aspect of them and name them accordingly. Example: Duane Curran, dark hero. A rather troubled soul who ends up being the only person left for his stepsister. The name fits him ridiculously well, partially because I named him before I had too clear a picture of him and then molded him to his role, his name.

    Other times I start with a name and fit the character to it, which happens to some degree no matter what. For example, Olive is a quiet, nervous, somewhat paranoid teenager. Olive doesn't have the same cheery, girly sound as Olivia does, so she isn't a real cheery or girly character. She prefers to go by Ollie and is a rather extreme tomboy.

    Sometimes I just pick a name randomly. Like Hazel. Or Todd. But only if that name comes with a character pre-made, like I can just see them with their name.
    I’m just trying to behave as I think a friend should behave. Granted, I haven’t had much practice.

    ~Elphaba Thropp, Wicked, by Gregory Maguire

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