marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,
marycatelli
marycatelli

the name game

Always fun, naming your characters. 

I once read a writer warning against naming a character too early.  The argument was that names have baggage and you will tag your character with that baggage without realizing it. 

That is, in fact, exactly what I am looking for in a name.  I try them on, and if they fit, the character type summed up in the name is obviously the character I am looking for.  An economical way to define them.

Not that I don't have to find the name first.  And then you get into the consciously thought parts.  Like what sort of culture you are stealing them from.  I've got six or seven baby name books and the most useful one divides by culture.  Not that that is always accurate enough.  I've found The Academy of Saint Gabriel quite useful for getting the right era.  (Something not all writers attend to.  I ran across a book in which a Norwegian women from the pagan era was named "Kristen."  aaaaaarrggghhh!!!)

Then, of course, you want it to suggest personality, social class, social structure, -- and do it without even showing that's what is intended.
Tags: characterization, names
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