1. Leaka
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    Leaka Creative Mettle

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    Ultimate Name Thread

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Leaka, Dec 28, 2008.

    Well a whole bunch of name threads have appeared so I decided I will make this Ultimate Name thread.
    Basically in this thread we will discuss issues with names and then give each other advice Wait and that isn't just all you can request for names to be found for you, only if you have done proper searching yourself of course.
    If you want a name for a character and you are looking for something specific instead of making a thread come on down here and just write down some stuff you want.
    Some helpful[or I hope are helpful] ways of asking what you want are:

    Names that have symbolized meaning[A girl's name that means fire]

    A character's trait reflects their name[The character has a quick temper and you want their name to reflect that]

    Maybe you want a character's name that reflects the plot of your story[A dark story full of murder and mystery and you want a name that reflects that]
     
  2. HKB
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    HKB Contributing Member

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    Oh good, I was just looking for somewhere to post this without having to start a new thread: If you go to "Behindthename.com" you can search for names by meaning such as "beautiful" or "dark" or "kind" etc.
     
  3. JGraham
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    JGraham Senior Member

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    This is one area where i feel i struggle with my writing. I have always been terrible at picking names for characters. I am not sure why but i just cant seem to get past basic names.
     
  4. Etan Isar
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    Etan Isar Contributing Member Contributor

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    Coming up with a name is a very complex process. Sometimes there is a great reason to use a simple name. Other times, it is nice to have something unique. It depends on genre, intent, atmosphere of the story and a host of other considerations.
     
  5. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    This is interesting! The name is one of the first things I decide on in a character. It's a bit like when I was pregnant, I always decided on a boy/girl name before the birth, and the names I chose seem to fit my daughter's characters. I've never understood women who can't find a name for their baby, or decide days/weeks after. Same with writing!
     
  6. Dante Dases
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    Dante Dases Contributing Member Contributor

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    This is a useful resource to use: http://www.behindthename.com/
     
  7. Leaka
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    Leaka Creative Mettle

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    Thanks for the behind the name link. I'm going to check it out now.
    I have trouble finding the names I want.
    Everyone of my characters names are chosen because they have meaning. I like my names to mean something about the character.
    Like Ignatius it means Fiery One.
    So maybe its in his appearance red orange hair.
    His nature fiery nature always ready to get pumped up
    His powers controls the fire magic.
     
  8. fantasywriter
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    fantasywriter Contributing Member

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    I, too, write fantasy, but none of my character's names mean anything to the character. To me, they're just names. Sometimes they do reflect the character, but not personality wise. I usually choose names that fit the character based on physical appearance. To me, the name Vashon is a strong, bold name, just like one of the characters in my stories, so I called him Vashon. The meaning of Vashon is "God is Gracious, Merciful," but that doesn't match him.

    I usually just come up with modern names and change them around a bit. For another character of mine, I took the name Lana and threw in an H, creating Lahna, for a more unrealistic feel.

    When playing The Elder Scrolls one day, I saw a name that I liked and I gave it to another character, making Calvus.

    It just depends on what methods you use and how well they work for you.
     
  9. Leaka
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    Leaka Creative Mettle

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    Sometimes my names are based on appearance.
    Like if they are really beautiful I like choosing names that kind of represent that.
    Like Aquamarine, because to me that is beautiful.
    I also like making up names as well, like Leaka, but I am sure that its a name somewhere.
    I like to think that I make up names.:)
     
  10. Scarecrow28
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    Scarecrow28 Contributing Member

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    I too have problems with character names. My MC's name seems too common, although it is kind of meant to be as my novel is placed in modern times and he isn't meant to be seen as some kind of special individual, just someone forced into a dangerous situation who's background is allowing him to survive this situation. I don't feel like the name necessarily fits him, but when I think about him, that's the name I know and I can't tell if it is just because I've had this MC around for 6-7 years and I should change it, or if it actually does fit him.

    My names generally will reflect something about the character in some way or another. They all have fairly typical names, but I may draw them from something about their personality. Like, if I have a character that is a scientist, I may mix a typical name with that of a scientist. If I have a darker character, his name will reflect this. If I think of any examples, I'll add them later, but I can't really think of any at the moment. :)
     
  11. Dante Dases
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    Dante Dases Contributing Member Contributor

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    For me a name needs to be more than just a string of letters attached to a character. A name generally needs to be grounded in our reality in some sense to help get a connection to the character (for instance, I have characters called Rachel, Marc, Ed, James and George). But I also pepper my work with names I've invented (Heles, Hummd, Oheller) to give it a fantastic feel. Names need to be considered when they are from the real world, for me, as the name needs to reflect the character. Marc, for example, is a warrior. Marc is a short version of Marcus, which in turn derives its root from Mars, the Roman god of war.

    The thing about interspersing real names with fictitious ones is that it needs to feel right in the blending of names. Marc has a fictitious surname, Rachel hasn't. Marc Dases and Rachel Stead come from the same town, and I would certainly like to believe that it seems that way, with the names. Although one is an invented name, I'd like to think it fits right in to the setting. Hummd is a foreign lad, so his name reflects that.

    Sometimes if a name 'feels' right for a character I will use it, but these tend to be the incidental characters who are in the book for no longer than a few pages. They don't matter as much as someone like Marc and Rachel, about whose names thought has been long.
     
  12. S-wo
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    S-wo Active Member

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    That behind the names link doesn't really seem to work for me. I typed in about seven of my characters names and got nothing, I usually base my character's name based on looks or if my character was inspired by another character base a name that resembles that one.
     
  13. HKB
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    HKB Contributing Member

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    Also, here: http://babynamesworld.parentsconnect.com/
    You can see the degree of popularity of a name as far back as 1880.
     
  14. S-wo
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    S-wo Active Member

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    It only worked for one name this time. I guess most of my names are pretty unique.
     
  15. Leaka
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    Leaka Creative Mettle

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    Babynams and Behind the name don't work for me.
    I want a name with the meaning of illusion and mystery.
    And they have nothing.
    Now I have to make up one.
     
  16. fantasywriter
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    fantasywriter Contributing Member

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    Laeka,

    Mirage is a name that means "Illusion, Fantasy"

    That's all I could find.
     
  17. HKB
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    HKB Contributing Member

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  18. greatestescaper
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    greatestescaper New Member

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    I definately believe that the name of a character gives that character a certain vibe. For example, while inventing a name for my new MC I had friends tell me what emotions were stirred by the characters name. And I am not sure why, but it took a lot of work to invent a name.
     
  19. HKB
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    HKB Contributing Member

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    Names separated into special categories, such as flower names, evil names, victim names, names meaning friendship and so on: http://www.20000-names.com/special_categories.htm
     
  20. Etan Isar
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    Etan Isar Contributing Member Contributor

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    Displaced by the subject of naming sites as it is, I'd like to talk about the meaning behind a name. In my current project, the names do mean something, and may even hint at events in the story, but this is because I have incorporated a lot of bastardized polish/slavic mythology into the story, and so it fits. But in general, I don't think to hard on what my character names mean. Name meaning rarely reflects reality in our world, so why should it necessarily do so in fictional worlds? But one thing I do occassionally do is use names to reflect a desired trait, but one that isn't, and may never be, present in the character. I think it's an interesting alternative. Another variation of this is to pick a name that reflects other's desires for the character. Parents are particularly notorius for given their children names to hint at virtues they'd like to see. I should note I mainly write fantasy and sci-fi. So the only place it is common for me to choose names that directly reflect a character's nature are when those names have been applied by other people. Gods and Spirits and Mystical Creatures are especially vulnerable to this treatment. But I generally draw the line at naming an MC Nicholas becuase he always wins, for instance.
     
  21. Leaka
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    Leaka Creative Mettle

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    In my home, my mom named me with a meaning.
    She wanted my name to means something, something that reflected who I was to her.
    So that is at least one example of a name reflecting reality in our world.
    And because that is the way my mom named me, that is the way I name my characters.
     
  22. 67Kangaroos
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    67Kangaroos Contributing Member

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    I also have a lot of trouble naming characters. I usually go to baby names websites and type a meaning and find all the names for it. I always have to type a bunch of different meanings til i find a name i like. Sometime I change the name slightly or mold two different names altogether.
    But for modern names, rather than their actual meanings, I usually go off of people that I've known. (Like people named Josh's tended to be jerks, Sarah's were confident and honestly interesting, Tiffany's were airheads, John's were old-fashioned chivalrous dudes, and Chris's were cocky to the nth power, etc.)

    Would you say you fit your name meaning then?

    My dad named me - heard a name once (the middle name of one of his profs) and absolutely loved it. It's in the dictionary, as it is a noun, but it def. was not chosen for meaning.

    I can say I am the ONLY person with this first name (though sometimes it is a surname) and I love my name. Though, more often than not, people automatically assume it's a boys name.. mail comes to Mr. "myname". I really don't mind it though - throws people off when I show up lookin' like I do sometimes ;) hehe! But half the time I'll just throw my obviously feminine middle name in the mix and everything is understood... of course, then they think my first name is my last name... lol!
     
  23. Leaka
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    Leaka Creative Mettle

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    I like to think so, my real name...not the English name I was given, but my real name from Greece means: Beautiful Words.
    And I like to think my real name fits my meaning. I mean I write stories and I am highly opinionated.
    And it isn't the name that made me this way. I think it was my mom herself. lol!
    She is as stubborn as I am.
    But my grandfather made me love words and stories on paper.
     
  24. 67Kangaroos
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    67Kangaroos Contributing Member

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    Had to have an English name cuz no one could pronounce your Greek name?

    That reminds me that I have a Korean name~ my name was really hard for them (and their names are impossible for me! so many sound so similar! and that "eu" sound is hard! they all had english names, too, though) My friends at church gave me "Ye-Rang" short for "Yesunim Sarang" which means "God Loves" :D so so sweet of them :D
     
  25. Leaka
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    Leaka Creative Mettle

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    Yes and No.
    Yes, my Greek name is sorta hard to pronounce.
    No, because we are sorta hiding from half of our family members so we moved to California and changed our names.
    [Namely my Uncle and his friends]
    But because of the name changes and what not they won't be able to find us.
    Unless my dad's mean parents tell on us. -.-

    Ooops, this is suppose to be names.

    For me a names meaning jumps out at me more. Because then I can start picturing an appearance.
    Like if it meant radiant hope I would give them light skin with blue eyes cause for me I think blue means hope or maybe green eyes because green means radiance to me.
     

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