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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