Naming Your Darlings: A Guide to Character Names

Kristen Twardowski

teddy-bear

When I was young, names fascinated me. That interest did not translate into a talent for actually naming creatures. (After all, I called my first pet, a very adorable Teddy Bear Hamster, “Teddy”. Not a terribly inspired choice.) Despite my increases in age and, theoretically, wisdom, I have not improved my ability to name people, animals, or places, but as a writer, I am frequently faced with choosing appellations.

Though I sometimes pull names out of thin air, I often find myself asking several questions to decide what name is appropriate. These include things like:

  • When was the character born?
  • Where was the character born?
  • What was the character’s family like? Erudite? Of the Earth? Traditional? Revolutionary?
  • Does the family have strong ties to a particular place or religion?
  • What hopes did the family have for the character, and does the name reflect them?
  • Are there family names? (For example…

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Author: Grandtrines

Like so many people, I am a paradox. I am a politically conservative vegetarian. I am from a Christian background, and still tend to like those values, but am a metaphysical astrologer trained in science who has an interest in the magic of ancient Egypt and a weird belief that some piece of our essence can live on a server. I live in Texas, but like chatting with my international Wordpress pals the best. I learn by teaching. Technically, I am a "Leo," but I am very, very Aquarian with a dose of Scorpio. I bitterly complain about Algol (and Algol personaliites), yet it is the one star that defines me most (other than Regulus). (Which, oddly, makes me an Algol personality.) I am a reclusive lover of peace and quiet who has the Ascendant in the Via Combusta (the most conflict ridden part of the zodiac). I am an incredibly private person with a blog with over 800 followers and 50 to 150 regular daily visitors. I could go on, but I think you get the picture.

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