Ah. It feels good to be back.
Let’s hop right into a bit of mental massaging, shall we?
Those sounds you make to identify someone, something, or someplace. Since I’ve dived back into my novel writing, coming up with names for my characters has become a renewed source of fun.
There’s just something . . . fulfilling about finding the right name for a character. A villain named Maurice just doesn’t have the same “oomph” as a Max or Magnus. The right name fits the character like a glove, and you can imagine other characters referring to him or her in anger or hate.
Yet names don’t have to be complex, polysyllabic affairs either. Who would ever suspect a name like Walter could inspire sympathy, respect, and fear, but it happened in Breaking Bad.
I tend to find names in a variety of places. I once found the name for an antagonist while watching a documentary on the history of cocaine. The expert who was interviewed had an intriguing name, so I opened up a chapter of my novel and tried it out. And wouldn’t you know it: it fit!
J.K. Rowling has mentioned that she researched names by scouring phonebooks, which sounds like an excellent idea.
So how do you find names for your characters?