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Thread: MC Discussion

  1. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    3,389
    I, too, have much difficulty with main characters' names. I usually have one of two problems: I can't find a name that suits the character or that I like, or I can't decide between multiple choices.
    It usually depends on the story, however; for one story, I came up with names on the spot and stuck with them until the end. I can't imagine them with any other names (the main characters are a Cora and a Jack). For other stories, like the one I'm currently writing, I've had trouble with almost every character except for one, for which I don't have a last name (my MC, called Alaina on the spot, took me weeks to rename; I finally settled with Miria, though had to change a different character's name because I now had too many characters whose name began with M).
    I find that realistic fiction stories are easier to name, because I often give them more familiar names. Fantasies, dystopians and sci-fi are harder, because I struggle to give them unusual yet still good and somewhat believable. They also usually have difficult restrictions. One story had all of its men in government take a name ending in -el (Mael, Citadel and Kaiel were all characters).
    Amedeo Enjolras Aristotle Leonardo Archer Olivier Mischa Liam Caspian Benedict Theodore Fitzwilliam
    Rosalie Evangeline Mirabelle Ophelia Alice Elisabeth Stella Titania Artemis Cicely Margarethe Thalia Astrid

  2. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    2,064
    Names will either come to me and be a perfect fit or I'll be going round in circles trying to find one, it's either one or the other. Sometimes the name comes before the personality, sometimes it's the other way around. Then I name other characters based on the first one - plausible sibset, not too many names with the same start letters or end sounds, etc. Contemporary stories are easier to name for me, but I still want to make sure the names fit the birth year, the parents, the surname and everything. Working on my first dystopia now and finding names rather difficult.

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


  3. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Europa ;)
    Posts
    99
    Generally, my characters drop into my head fully-formed with names attached to them. (For instance, I once had a girl named Flute. True story.) In my current WiP, my main male character arrived nameless, literally: he spends the entire prologue unnamed. The name he calls himself for the story, Scorpio Leftfeather, popped into my head and makes total sense in-world, but I had to scan a list of names for weeks before coming up with his true name. (The really sad part is that nobody but me and my critique partner will ever know his true name; I've elected not to include it in the actual novel) My female main character, on the other hand, stepped into my head, shoved aside the girl I had lined up for Scorpio's love interest, shot holes in the original plot I had planned, killing five characters in the process, and told me her name was Thisbe Franco Ritz. She, vigilante that she is, totally changed the entire plot, pacing, and character arc of everyone else in the story. (And poor Scorpio has to sit in the corner without a real name.)

    So yeah. They generally pop into my head with roaring personalities and names dangling off them like coattails. When they don't, I spend way too much time on the internet searching for the perfect name, and when I find it they all throw a party.
    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*

  4. #12
    For me, the names need to fit the period and theme. For most characters I like to choose names with meanings that fit with the character or tell something about them which is not obvious at first. But that can be a major pain so eventually I just pick a name I like that has no meaning relative to the character. Most of the time the personality appears first and then comes the name but I've had the name appear first or the name and personality appear simultaneously.

    If I'm having trouble finding a name for an extended period of time, I assign the character a nn that relates to their personality until their real name pops up. If they still refused to be named I go through lists of names or ask people for help. For example, I called a really sweet but freakishly intelligent character Muffy for the longest time until I decided on Lorelai "Lore", thanks to help from Nameberry. But she still refuses all surnames.

    For surnames I try to balance the character's name. So if the first name is pretty out there, I tune the whole name down with the surname unless the character calls for a ridiculous name. For example, one of my MC's first name is Phoenyx and to mellow it out, but not too much, I gave her the last name Reid.

    I find others to be the biggest help if I'm ever stuck.

  5. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    95
    Well, I develop the character before naming him. I look for names that have meanings similar to the characters traits. I make a list of names I think could work. Then, I sit down and list off sentences with potential names out loud. Usually when I say the right name, I just know.
    Madison McKenzie

    Leonidas Mercer (Leos), Prescott Wolfram, William Lawrence, Abram Athens, Henry Frederic, Thomas Dresden, Aleksander Jerusalem, Christopher Holden, Jonathon Day, Vincent Rory, Louis Rial, Carson Noah

    Eleonora Magdalena, Vera November, Ivana Colette, Emilia Isobel, Alivia Marigold, Eliza Annika, Leola Ethel, Cecelia Jane, Romilly Elliana, Loretta Maeve, McKenna Addison

    Guilty Pleasures: Percy James, Avalon Prosper (Aavie)

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