Tag Archives: Writing

5 Tips for Naming Characters

indecisive-novelist

Comic by Tom Gauld

 

I don’t know about you guys, but for me, naming a character is like naming a child. When creating a character, the name you choose for them is incredible significant. It ties them to the setting, to their roots, even to a greater symbolic meaning. I can’t start writing about a character until they are given their name, the name that just fits. Here are my tips on naming fictional characters.

Baby Naming Website 

Okay, this may sound weird, right off the bat, but trust me on this one. Those baby naming websites for overly pregnant ladies are actually really helpful. If you are looking for a name with a certain letter, number of syllables, or cultural origin, there’s information on those kind of sites. Just be careful if someone sees you looking at baby names, they may be concerned.

Historical Context 

If your story takes place in another time period, keep in mind the historical context. Find out what names were common at the time. If you google something like ‘names from 1920s’, a list of popular names from the 1920s will probably pop up. Also the Social Security Administration website will appear with a ranked list of common names of the decade. It’s pretty useful, and it’ll give you a feel for the time.

Sound it out. 

Out loud. If it doesn’t sound right, or its difficult to pronounce, or just sounds like a mouthful, something’s off. Keep trying. Once you’ve found a name that suits your character, it should just click.

((Pet Peeve Break))

((I have this pet peeve of names that sound completely made up. Like Chloe Stormgrave or or Jace Winterfang. When would you ever meet someone with a name like that in real life? Other than in a game of Dungeons and Dragons? Choosing a name just because it sounds cool is just unrealistic. Yes, I know, somewhere out there may be a Stormgrave family or whatever, but you gotta admit, it is an unlikely name. So please, for me, choose a name that sounds realistic and not like a character for an RPG game. Seriously, it just bothers me. ))

Named After Someone

Occasionally, I’ll name a character after someone in my life, whether they are still alive or deceased. Not their full name, of course, usually just their first name. Another option is naming them after an author, or an actor, or some lady on the news, anyone really. Names are all over the place, you just have to keep your eyes open. My character Oscar, his last name, Fitzgerald, came from F Scott Fitzgerald.

Be Careful of Similar names.

Try not to have two characters’ names sound similar. Stuff like that can really confuse readers. One time, in fiction writing class, a classmate had two characters named Flip and Clip whom, if I remember correctly, were involved in gang related activities or hunted by police. One of them, we’re not sure who, got shot by an undercover cop and died. The whole class had no idea which one died nor what was happening. Just be aware of that and distinguish your characters from one another.

Hope these tips were helpful for the next time your stuck on a nameless character. Tell me in the comments below how you go about naming the characters in your stories.

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky

Writing from Anger and Sadness

Today, I was called a “miserable girl” by a loved one for expressing my unhappy feelings to them. Feelings that have been completely unacknowledged for quite some time.

Yesterday, something happened that made me angry beyond belief, a kind of anger a bear feels when a hunter gets too close to her cub.

Two completely unrelated events, two very loud emotions.

Well, I tell you guys all the time to write with heart. There’s a reason for that. Writing doesn’t always come from the good emotions. Stories won’t always feel like that fuzzy, butterfly warmth of love and happiness. Fear, Anger, Sadness, Broken Heartedness. It’s not fun, but stories and characters need some of that negative stuff too. It’s all about balance.

Once, in poetry class, while doing a writing exercise, my professor asked the class “What does anger feel like to you? Use metaphors and similes” Someone said it felt like bees buzzing in her ear, another said it was like a gorilla pounding on his chest.

Think of actors performing a scene where they need to make themselves cry. They think of sad moments in their lives, to evoke that emotion. Writers have to do the same, to create something special and deep, something that makes readers feel what you or your characters feel.

I’m gonna remember these not so great emotions, file them away in some folder in my brain. And when I write a story, and need to tap into a certain feeling, I have personal experience as material.

Make something good out of the muck of life. Someone has to.

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky.

 

 

Writing Prompt Weekend #4

You open the gift and are unenthused. But you smile “I love it!” You lie. “Thank you so much!” You lie again, with an even bigger fake smile.

“I thought of you as soon as I saw it!”

Really? You take it out of the box. It’s a _______ …….


Made this one up myself, while I’m sick with a cold for Christmas. Happy Holidays Everyone!

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky.

Another Reason Why I Adore Lin-Manuel Miranda. His Creative Process.

Sorry I’ve been absent the past couple days, things have been hectic. I found this video of Lin-Manuel Miranda as he talks about the creative process. His words on songwriting and falling in love with an idea can be applied to fiction writing and story telling.

Running out to do more Christmas shopping, but I hope you guys find this video as interesting as I did. Happy holidays.

Write with Heart,

Lady Jabberwocky.

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