Name Hijacking

Courtesy of www.mysoulpurpose.org
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So, I’m working on this piece of writing–a novel excerpt–and I’ve been really struggling with naming one of the main characters.

He’s not someone I ever want to know in reality. I don’t like him. And, occasionally, I get a little creeped out editing chapters about him. (Hopefully, that occurrence means that I’ve written him affectively.)

Still, I’ve had a most difficult time naming him.

Now, I take naming real lives quite seriously. When each of our children entered our arms, we spent a minimum of a day reflecting on what to name them, knowing well that a name can have influence on your life in an almost tangible way.

I may be just slightly less serious about naming my characters.

(And this guy isn’t a great guy–so, of course, I don’t want to name him after anyone that I like….)

The only problem there is that I’ve known lots of people, and I like most of them. šŸ™‚

We (the character and I) went through a transition from a name that started with a G (that was a real name, though it kinda sounded like I made it up) to a name that began with a C (but had a pretty obvious Biblical allusion…anyone care to guess?) to a name that began with an E (what he is named currently). The E name is not a name of anyone I know personally, and it is also the name of a fairly malicious character in a book series I read recently. I was okay with using the E name…at least for now.

While we are talking about names, I found a name that I loved but my husband wasn’t too fond of–and one that was in my ancestry. I didn’t have another daughter after I discovered it (which was probably a blessing since I don’t like to argue with my husband–& I just might’ve been willing to fight for that one). I was excited last month when I remembered the name while I started working on a new novel (I’ve been dying to try something dystopian). Hooray! I can name a character after one of my ancestors.

And, I actually like this character.

šŸ™‚

How do you name your characters? Do you try to make connections or simply find a name you like? Do your characters show up in your brain with or without names? Do you use online resources to do name research?

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Karin

Writer, freelance editor, mother, artist...I wear a few other hats, as well, of course. :)

3 thoughts on “Name Hijacking”

  1. Good questions! I use online resources, an old baby names book (sounds like you may have one, too) and then as you alluded to — I just go with what feels right. Good luck on your naming, and on your writing!

  2. I know, right?! We named our youngest while drinking a bottle of wine (embarrassing story to tell your classmates, admittedly, that you’re named after a nice white, but hey). My serial killer, on the other hand, has been the topic of numerous group discussions and has (so far) be renamed 7 times! What the heck?? Yah. I feel you, sister.

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