A comment by Serenity Woods reminded me about a blog post I have been meaning to write. She said that her husband always knows she is contemplating a new book when she takes her book of baby names off the book shelf.
So how can you find inspiration for names? Here are ten suggestions:-
1. Baby name book
2. Mix up first names and surnames you come across in real life or in books and magazines. I amused myself waiting for my son’s graduation to start by looking at the possible name combinations in the programme.
3. One of my favourites is to look at names on memorial benches. These have inspired several of my poems and I thought at one time about trying to get known as a memorial bench poet.
4. Follow the celebrities and name your characters after the places in which they might have been conceived.
5. Experiment with the names of birds – Sparrow, Wren, Linnet.
6. If the story has a historical setting it is important to choose an appropriately aged name. There are several websites giving era appropriate name lists.
7. Try to avoid main character names beginning with the same letter, e.g. Simon and Simone. I read a book recently and had to keep looking back to previous chapters to understand who I was reading about, especially as the female character had a masculine nickname.
8. If someone annoys you the baddie in your story can always be named after them.
9. Use your writer’s notebook to record any likely names which might even be cars or business names.
10. Consult the Bible. My sister and I are not overly religious, but all of our children have biblical names. Naming a character has similarities with naming your offspring and if you get your manuscript published you will have to live with the names for a long time, so choose wisely.
Any other ideas? Or tales of how you named your characters below please?