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
Subscribe

  • to end and begin

    So I write. I write 200 antiwords, 700 words on the new pass. AND at 24,700 words, this draft is done! Woot! And so I think, what should I write…

  • the muse, the river, and the bee

    So here I am, intrepid writer, revising again. Hit a scene. Had it dawn on me forcefully that I revised this scene BEFORE the earlier scenes, when I…

  • ironies of inspiration

    Sometimes you rip off an idea from a work. It doesn't have to something like pulling the characters or the plot or both, that you would need to file…

  • Post a new comment

    Error

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

  • 15 comments

  • to end and begin

    So I write. I write 200 antiwords, 700 words on the new pass. AND at 24,700 words, this draft is done! Woot! And so I think, what should I write…

  • the muse, the river, and the bee

    So here I am, intrepid writer, revising again. Hit a scene. Had it dawn on me forcefully that I revised this scene BEFORE the earlier scenes, when I…

  • ironies of inspiration

    Sometimes you rip off an idea from a work. It doesn't have to something like pulling the characters or the plot or both, that you would need to file…