1. ellebell16
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    ellebell16 Member

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    I don't know my MC's name?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by ellebell16, Jan 10, 2011.

    I've had my MC planned from the start of getting my idea for a series...I know what he looks like, how he feels, what he does, what he likes, what he hates...but for the life of me, I can not figure out his name.

    How do I figure it out? It's been weeks and I still don't know.
     
  2. Youniquee
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    Youniquee (◡‿◡✿) Contributor

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    Go on baby name sites and look up meanings. Maybe one that's the opposite of him?
     
  3. WastelandSurvivor
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    WastelandSurvivor Member

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    Have you looked at baby name sites? He is your baby, after all. Usually I find names on those sites or I envision what they look like in my head and imagine what name they look like. I find it particularly entertaining to give them more formal sounding names and never actually use them, such as naming a character Victoria and always calling her Tori.
     
  4. Tessie
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    Tessie Contributing Member Contributor

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    A name will come to you. You just have to wait for the perfect one. I know this, because I'm so picky about my characters' names.

    But, yes, a baby name website is the perfect generator for names.
     
  5. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I use the name generator on Behind the name. They are the most accurate with name meanings and you can enter what culture you want the name from and just keep clicking until something sparks.

    Or use meanings, most of my characters have names that mean something connected to them. Like with my new one Iris - means rainbow and she is a colourful character, it fits her age but is also trendy today (lots of little Iris' running around), Augustus nn Gus he is wise and famous, it works for him - again Gus (usually short for Fergus, Angus etc) is seeing a comeback with little ones, Augustus wouldn't be teased at school. Johnny - means God is Gracious, he is a bit of a gift to Iris and Gus, he keeps them on their toes, Johnny makes him sound younger. I like to use names that have a fresh modern feel - whilst also being old fashioned (Beatrice, Bessie, Angus, Nathaniel etc)

    If you can get a copy Classic Baby Names by Penguin and First Names First by Leslie Alan Dunkling both I think might be out of print, but they are names books gives you outlines of why names were chosen. Classic Baby Names is about names in Classical Literature.
     
  6. Aeschylus
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    Aeschylus Contributing Member

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    To me it's more about how the name sounds, and how it looks when written down, that matters when I decide a name, rather than the meaning. When I see strange names in books I rarely look up their meaning, but the way the name sounds, looks, feels, is important.
     
  7. FrankABlissett
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    FrankABlissett Active Member

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    A name isn't absolutely needed, especially for shorts.

    Certainly, it's not needed to write the story. If you plan on having one, use a place-holder ie "MCNAME" and find-replace when it comes to you.

    -Frank
     
  8. Naiyn
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    Naiyn Contributing Member

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    You could try a writing excersise with your MC in a simple conversation with a friend, and have the friend adress him by name. His name might just 'pop out' from that conversation.
     
  9. Angharad Denby-Ashe
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    Angharad Denby-Ashe Member

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    I never liked to load my characters names up with hidden meanings either. Sort of reminds me of a Victorian where all the villains are called Slimeworth, or something like. :) I would probably go with what it sounds like, taking into consideration how it would eventually be shortened by those around him or what he would like. Would he insist on James? Jimmy? Jim? Or if it were a girl Eliza, Beth, Elizabeth? Just, if you ever write a female lead, don't end her name with an "a". Its a pet peeve of mine too many women, especially in romance novels, have frilly names that end with an "a". :/
     
  10. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    I hope you forgive it if they are Italian!
     
  11. Midnight_Adventurer
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    Midnight_Adventurer Active Member

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    It can be a tricky process I know, I spend way too much time obsessing over my character names. Just try and pick something that resembles your character's personality. My female MC is called Addison, which is a strong name but also girly enough and can have Addie as a nickname.
    Good luck :) :)
     
  12. Nilfiry
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    Nilfiry Contributing Member

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    Names are merely a form of address. Unless you intentionally want the name to have some greater meaning in the story, just a pick any name you like and use it.
     
  13. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Don't make the names TOO fitting; it annoys me to see warrier/trapper characters named Hunter, goth girls named Raven etc. I mean the parents of a kid have no way of knowing what the person will be like at age 20, so the name they give them as an infant isn't going to be a perfect match with their personality.
     
  14. pseudonym
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    pseudonym New Member

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    The name is immaterial until its done, focus on the writing and the name will come. Dont let yourself be caught up by something that does not add to the story, and you never know it might work that he has no name. you never know
     
  15. Angharad Denby-Ashe
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    Angharad Denby-Ashe Member

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    Aida, Armida, Rossina, Gilda, Desdemona....I've got a problem there. :) But for everyone else - :mad:
     
  16. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    For christian names I have a baby's name book for surnames I look in the phone book.
     
  17. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Personally I find the name invaluable it is part of building the character and often shapes their character in certain ways. Just like when you get a name you start to associate it with people, maybe have an idea of what they will look like and how they act.
     
  18. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Why don't you open an RPG game and start designing your character there? And to complete it, you HAVE to give him a name lol.

    I mean, that's how mine came about - Heinrich. I wasn't even thinking of a novel then - I was just playing RPG cus my friends recommended it. I liked the name Heinrich, and started playing. By the end of the game, I've got a story swimming in my head because I started really liking my character and I knew I wanted to write it - so my character couldn't be anything else but Heinrich.

    Essentially, just give him a name and you'll start associating the character with it :p

    Another thing, don't know if it's good practice, but pick a name you could fancy lol. For example, I'd never name my MC Mingus - probably the most horrible name I've ever had the misfortune to hear (reminds me of "minging" and "mucus"). So while Mingus could definitely be a villain or some kind of tertiary character, there's no way he could ever be my MC. Matthew, however, would be a different story - I visualise Matthews as handsome guys - I don't know why - and that way I automatically like them haha.

    Probably the only risk with that is, you end up fancying your own character and end up with some forms of wish-fulfilment in your story, as mine has, but which I don't know how to get rid of o_O
     
  19. vanarie
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    vanarie Senior Member

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    His name is Jeremy Morrell. :D
     
  20. Forkfoot
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    Forkfoot Contributing Member Contributor

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    Don't let the fact that you don't have a name for him keep you from writing your story. Just put __________ where the name will go for now.
     
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