Month-Long Writing MeMe – Day 3

May 4, 2010

3. How do you come up with names, for characters (and for places if you’re writing about fictional places)?

For the most part, my characters appear with their name. Sometimes it will get fine-tuned, if I feel like things are starting to sound too much alike. . . sometimes I’ll go to fine-tune it and will catch all holy hell from the characters themselves (which is why my universe-builder has a Madac and a Meddan. Hate it, but by the time I realized they were operating in the same story the names where intrinsic. At least they’re rarely in the same place at once.)

I have an eensy bit of paranoia about the names I use, something that I suspect is leftover from my misspent, over-romanticized youth. My original work is generally in fantastic or ancient worlds, so I rarely have the option of using Jack, Jill, Bill, and Bob names. However, I HATE names with strong, harsh sounds. . . in fact, I kind of hate words with strong, harsh sounds, so you won’t often see me placing an Karblog or an Zaknow in a story. Downside is, it’s easy for the names I like to make the story sound too much like a hackneyed adolescent sword-n-sorcery piece.

I think I have reason to worry–a few of my character names (and cue embarassed blushing): Chayah, Lessa, Madac, Meddan, Kieran, Beren, Daenor, Kisura (see, didn’t forget her this time!), Rosemarie, and Theo.


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