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Writing Meme Day Three

April 3, 2010
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April 3rd – How do you come up with names, for characters (and for places if you’re writing about fictional places)?

For the most part, I think about the characters’ personalities. Once I have that firmly in hand, I begin searching name websites or flipping through my huge book o’ names. I can usually find a name within a few minutes. The name just… fits, and I don’t argue with it. I’m pretty firm about my names. I don’t like changing them once I’ve begun the story. Like with Oneiros. It was pointed out to me that ‘Caleb’ is a name commonly used at the moment (and I’d read a blog entry on a romance blog about the fact that name – among others – was overused). However, I like the name Caleb. It fits his character perfectly, and while it may be popular at the moment, I won’t be changing it as it’s his name.

I become pretty attached to the names. Nikola wouldn’t be Nikola if he was name Jack. XD He’s Nikola, and Aric is Aric. The names are as much a part of the character as any other personality trait, and I don’t fuck around with it all that much.

As for places… If the world I am writing in is supposed to be this world – our world – no, I don’t tend to make places up. If it’s my own world, or a world slightly to left of our actual world, then yes, I most certainly make the places up. I visit a fantasy name generator online for some ideas, and then play around with words. I usually look at other languages for the basis of the word (like continent of Leiden was actually based off a word in Croatian that I altered for Egaea). Those names are a little harder to come up with, and I tend to be less attached to them and their spellings, though I do put a lot of thought and effort into them.

Kris says I’m rather adept at naming things… people, places, books. ^_^ I take that as a very nice compliment to my skills. I love words. I love making up words. It’s part of why I love being a writer. 🙂

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