1. KenA
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    KenA Member

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    The names just come to me

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by KenA, Feb 15, 2015.

    My wife and I were eating lunch today, and I was telling her about this scene where 27 year old gal, by the name of Shelby, is kidnapped. My wife wanted to know where her name came from. I had to stop and think for a minute before telling her I didn't really know; it just sort of came into my head. Apparently while building this scene, and coming to the point where a human being was needed, I was impressed that it had to be a young lady. That being decided I kept going. Further into my writing the name just surfaced, S'helby".
    If I were to create a character first, I would then have to build the scene around that person, and I may end up in a blind canyon with rebuilding the character as my only option. My two bits:)

    Ken
     
  2. Komposten
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    Komposten Insanitary pile of rotten fruit Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I know that feeling. Emily and Amanda, the main character and her best friend in my current WIP, where names that just came to me while I was writing. I have no clue from where those names came, especially since I know neither an Emily nor an Amanda. ;)
    Other times, however, I have to sit down and think for a while or use a name generator. Allan Kroon, a minor character, is one such example. But I always make sure that the name fits the character, not the other way around.
     
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  3. NiallRoach
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    NiallRoach Contributing Member

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    Names don't often come to me, but I generally don't have too much difficulty just plucking one of thin air. I just pick something generic; Hannah, Ash, Jack.

    Of course, whenever I need to name a character who doesn't have an English name, I generally go on a
     
  4. Lemon flavoured
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    Lemon flavoured Active Member

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    I tend to use the same few names a lot. I use the name Emma quite a bit for some reason (maybe because I know loads of them in real life?)
     
  5. Commandante Lemming
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    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've done both spontaneous and non-spontaneous naming but I've definitely had characters "insist" on their names - especially my my character Nina Constantinos. Not a name I would have picked at all if I had sat down and done it from research - but I needed a character with a very specific number of syllables and rhyming elements in their first and last name - and "Nina Constantinos" was the first name that popped into my head in that meter. I tried to look for other options but she just kind of popped out of the ether from that, and once she existed I couldn't change her name. Funny thing is that later resulted in lots of unplanned research on Greek-American culture because I never intended to make the character Greek, but she gave herself a Greek last name so I'm stuck with her.
     
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  6. zurkan
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    zurkan New Member

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    A lot of what make up the aliens depends on your plot and the future (near or distant--or even past) that you've created for yours story.
     
  7. Jak of Hearts
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    Jak of Hearts Member

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    I plan my names way too much. I often even use placeholders for names and change names several times. I spend a lot of time playing with consonants and vowels to get a feel for how they sound and will often just change one letter to play with different variations. If given just the name alone it can often tell you if the character is strong, smart, sexy, etc. But that's just me, I may be weird. I will tell you what I can't stand though and thats when people use names that too obviously mean something (like one story I read where the MC's name is Bastion Delecrux which literally translates to "defender of the cross"... too cheesy)
     
  8. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    ^ Yeah, you almost already know what the character is going to do with that name.

    As for me, it depends on what I'm writing. With fantasy and sci-fi, names are a bit harder. Bizarre names with no pattern or logic would crop up and I'd have to figure out what to do with it and why this character decided to be called that. Historical fiction/mystery is more my thing, primarily because I just have to google a baby naming site and pick out the names that fit my characters. :p
     

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