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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    New York City & Washington, D.C
    Posts
    1,113

    My character needs a name!!

    Hey Everyone. So I give name advice here all the time, and I'm hoping you guys can help me out now. When I'm not on Nameberry I'm a student and a writer, and I need your help. I'm writing a short story for my creative fiction class, and my proposal is due very soon and my character still does not have a name. Normally I come up with the character name quite easily, but for some reason this one is tough. Okay, here's a brief description of my character- hopefully a name will strike you!

    She's from a small town near Boston. She was born in 1988, she has a sister (unnamed at the moment), her father is a doctor and her mother stays home. Her childhood was very quintessential and traditional. Her mother is Jewish, her father is Protestant, and she was raised as a mix of the two. In the story she has recently graduated college and is anxiously embarking on her real life, which is at the beginning of the story, unplanned- she's on a journey of sorts, but she's not sure where exactly she's going. She is very smart and is well-loved but often comes off as snobbish or narcissistic because she is set in her ways. She is an extrovert and is very passionate about her close friends and is a passionate person in general, often feeling too much and acting upon her feelings too quickly. She is petite and has long light brown hair and green eyes, which she believes are her best feature.

    Ideally her name won't be too common and will have an interesting meaning. I have a few names floating around in my head but I'd like to see what you can come up with first.

    Thanks SO much,
    Freckles
    "Four be the things I'd have been better without: love, curiosity, freckles and doubt." -Dorothy Parker

  2. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    958

    Re: My character needs a name!!

    Good luck with your novel!

    You can learn a lot from the process of naming your character. I suggest you start with the Top 100 Baby Names for 1988. Here:

    http://www.thetop100babynames.com/US...8BabyNames.htm

    Then you need to ask -- and only you can answer -- a series of questions.

    Was her mom the type to name her something trendy? Something "typical"? Jessica? Ashley? Heather? Nicole?

    Was her mom the type to name her something classic and little surprising at that time -- maybe Margaret? (# 93) In what other ways did this taste of her mom for the classic and sound play out in your character's childhood?

    Was her mom the type to name her something unusual -- not on the list? What is that about, as her upbring was so conventional? Did her mom have this one little corner of her personality that was unusual? Why? How was it unusual?

    Was the mom the type to name her something significant, perhaps after an ancestor lost in the Holocaust? Or was her mom the opposite, the type who wanted her child to have an upbeat, contemporary name without tragic baggage?

    How did the religious backgrounds of her parents play out in her name? Did they find something to honor both traditions? Was one tradition more important than the other? Why? Did they pick a fn and mn so they could honor both sides of the family? Could you tell by the name?

    Did her dad want to name her something "attractive," Amber, while her mom was horrified and wanted something lovely in a homespun way -- Hannah?

    By the time you are done, you will know a lot about the family background of our character!

    The one name I was going to recommend, I'll warn you off instead! The first thing I thought of was Anastasia -- because of the charming Anastasia books which are set first in Cambridge and then in a Boston suburb. I thought -- oh -- she could be a grownup Anastasia! But then I realized that many readers might know that series and will be disappointed it is not the same character at all. So the one name I would say NOT to use, is Anastasia!

    Happy writing trails to you.

  3. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    15,310

    Re: My character needs a name!!

    Edith (nn Edie) was the first name that came to mind. It has a variety of meanings depending on the source: "rich gift, "prosperity in battle", one who is joyous" etc...It was popular in the medieval times and in the 19th century but is now rarely chosen. It would be a daring choice in 1988 and is a name that would blend well in a mixed-marriage family. Of course, it would depend on the surname that you have chosen for your character. Other names to consider.
    Adele "noble"
    Agatha "good"
    Arden "burning with enthusiasm"
    Bernadette "courageous"
    Celeste "heavenly"
    Corinne "maiden"
    Florence "in bloom"
    Irene "peace"
    Jocelyn "cheeful"
    Julie "youthful"
    Leonie "lion"
    Mabel "loveable"
    Maude "battle-mighty"
    Maxine "greatest"
    Nadine "hope"
    Roberta "bright flame"
    Ruth " a beloved companion"
    Simone "one who listens well"
    Sylvia "from the forest"
    Vivian "lively"
    All the best,
    Mischa.

  4. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    3,071

    Re: My character needs a name!!

    My first thought was Bridget. Do you want to use a more realistic 80s name, or can it be anything? Does she have a particular heritage that it could reflect (naming after relatives, or something)? Here are some random names...

    Helena
    Miriam
    Rosalie
    Greta
    Frances
    Henrietta
    Carys
    Josephine
    Delia
    Milena
    Saskia
    Daphne
    Sabrina
    Maia
    Beatrice
    Sophia
    Bronwen
    Zara
    Theodora
    Alina
    Maribel
    cordelia ~ jessamine ~ alice ~ louisa ~ maeve ~ julia ~ eloise ~ fiona ~ genevieve
    matthias ~ william ~ henry ~ finn ~ benjamin ~ frederick ~ leander

  5. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    1,357

    Re: My character needs a name!!

    My first thought was Miriam, with possibly the nn of Mimi. I can also see her as:

    Naomi
    Fiona
    Margo
    Tabitha
    Bridget
    Clara

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