agent, Characters, editing, plans, Uncategorized

Naming your characters

How do you decide your character names? I was sitting on the back of the motorbike, and as usual thinking about the stories I’m writing and mulling over some character names I needed for my fantasy story. That started me thinking about where we find these names?

With a name, comes great responsibility! Someone said to me the other day – imagine how all the people feel that called their kids Dany ((From Game of Thrones for those people that haven’t watched it)) Well Dany started out with great promise and then, oh dear things went a little bit wrong with her good character. I won’t go into detail due to some people ((What they hell are they playing at)) haven’t watched it all. Needless to say, you might not actually want your child named after her.  ((You can just imagine the awkward conversation when said children find out who they are named after))

I try not to use names of people I know, just in case they think I’m in some way naming it after them and then try and sue me ((what, because they will make about 1p from your royalties)) I’ve found it really hard to come up with names for my fantasy novel; a lot of the main characters were really easy, but some of the lesser characters I found hard particularly, and the surnames. I don’t want to pick any form of modern name, and need to steer clear of anything that has been done before. It’s really annoying when you come up with a good name and realise it from Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones or Dungeons and Dragons.

So, to try something a little bit different whilst on a long journey; in the car this time so I could actually write things down. ((have you got a driver or something? I thought you were poor??)) I started to write down place names, street names, types of car etc, and then put different ones together to give me interesting names… and it worked.

Try adding colours into the mix as well. When I got home I tried this with scrabble tiles as well and just shifted them around until the name fitted the character I wanted. Again, I found this particularly useful for the surnames. Creatively, it just made my mind think… ((don’t say it…)) outside the box… ((she only went and said it – there will be ‘moving forward’ and my personal favourite, ‘let’s drill down into it?’ unless you’re talking about actual mining or fracking and we don’t need to start a full on conversation about that earthquake causing activity – there is just no need for it.)) alright Brackets calm down. Moving on, these different exercises certainly helped as I was struggling when I was sitting staring into space trying to think of a name.

((FYI, she only said the last one so she could get out the scrabble tiles again for the pic…))

Apparently there are ‘name generators’ you can use on the internet, and also websites that have lists of names; but I prefer to come up with my own. Somehow it doesn’t feel like my character if I use a name someone else has given me. If you have any creative ways of coming up with names let me know.

On the writing front; sadly, there is nothing new to report. Still waiting on info from agents, still editing the Christmas story, still editing the New Zealand journal. Sadly, everything takes a bit of back seat when you’re working full time.  I have made a lot of progress on the fantasy story and nearly at 37K now and trying to decide what wordcount I want to finish with. It could go 50k or 120k such is the ever-changing fantasy story. Hopefully next month there will be something to report; even if it’s a rejection and moving onto to another agent… such is the life of trying to get published. On that subject quickly… I’ve read quite a few articles about submitting to lots of agents at once as it does take a while for them to get back to you and then you’ve potentially lost 2-4 months of waiting for a ‘no thanks’. But, I’ve decided I don’t want to just have an agent because out of hundreds I submitted too, one wanted to take me on. I want someone who I’ve done my research on. It’s a bit like checking out a company before you go for an interview. It is obviously a close bond people have with their agents, and I for one would rather play the waiting/time game and get the right one. But that’s my choice. I might change my mind one day and send it to millions!

Right that’s me done for another month. As always feel free to join in or message me on twitter to discuss. Hope everyone working in education is ready for the new term. I was going to rant about having no time as working full time  ((please, please don’t… although most sensible people have probably swiped right by now – oh wait, thats for dating apps, as you were! ))

Good idea Brackets… until next time…

Clair 😊


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