1. Kallisto
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    Kallisto Active Member

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    How do you change names?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Kallisto, Jun 5, 2016.

    On the other message board I attend (which has a lot of young writers, mind you) they always seem to fret over finding "the name." The one that would make readers go "wow." Personally, I spend all of five minutes doing names. I pick one or two criteria then head to the advance search on some babynames website.

    What do you do to pick names? Especially fantasy names.
     
  2. ArQane
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    ArQane Member

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    The key to names is to be diverse. Usually, book critics tend to be overly against simple names like "John" or "David" or "Anne", etc. etc. Remember, a good deal of your characters can have these names, simply because it is normal to. But other names should be there too, once they aren't commonly used. These names should almost look like your character. Yes, your name LOOKS like your character. Picture your character in your head and think of names. Select from the first ones you think of, they would be most accurate.

    Babynames is a very tricky site to use. Most of the names are super awkward in a novel. Thus, use it sparingly.

    What I said might have completely just have been junk, but that's my way of naming characters.

    Hope it helps.
     
  3. izzybot
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    izzybot Human Disaster Contributor

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    Sometimes I decide "I want a name that means [x]" and very cleverly google "given/surnames that mean [x]" to find something I like, but I often just come up with them off the top of my head. Whatever name seems fitting in the moment. A lot of people do worry over finding just the right name, and I used to to a degree, but honestly after you've named over 300 characters, your first thought is just "Okay, have I used this one before?" (The second thought is "Dammit, yeah, I have.")
     
  4. ArQane
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    ArQane Member

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    On the contrary, I highly recommend people not to name 300 characters xD. I, again, do not advocate for babynames and name finders. The only thing that really need mythical names or name roots are really weapons or objects, not so much people. Like, I wouldn't call my character Athena, etc. specifically because it would be too awkward to name my character after a deeper root. Those can really really be covered by what the author first thinks up of.
     
  5. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    98% of the time I just make up names, and so far they have been fairly original. With a few (mind you a very few) exceptions. Pretty much just kinda B.S. it by writing mainly about people of different races (alien, demon, futuristic, etc), though I have done much more 'normal' stories and names. Does changing the spelling on some common names count? :p

    So yeah, just basically play around with the alphabet until you find something that sounds interesting or cool. Well that's what I do, cause a name generator will more than likely have a name that has already been used before. At least the percentage is higher if you use a generator that it will more than likely turn up in a search, as opposed to making up your own.
    Hooray for imagination. :cheerleader:
     
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  6. izzybot
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    izzybot Human Disaster Contributor

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    I %100 agree, it was never supposed to get this far, hahah.
     
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