Question on character names

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50767 words so far Winner!

I have noticed this is one of the hottest topics on the forums. I also know it is something I personally struggle with. What do you think of when choosing a name? I usually try to match the time period or setting of the novel. For example characters from the past will have more classic and traditional names. In the future my character names are more obscure or a different spelling of a more common name. But even with this it is hard to find a good fit sometimes.

Do you have any resources you find to be most helpful? I need help with this because I have gone from common names by years all the way to browsing census records for inspiration. It sometimes takes more energy to find a name than to write their dang story.

I think we are all at the point, or very near, when this topic will be very urgent.

52005 words so far Winner!

Check out the adoptables forum. Sometimes, you come across something there that sparks something else in your mind. :) That's what I did for my plot and characters this year. I browsed and perused, and when something caught my eye, I ran with it.

Figment: Twist, the dive-bombing leopard gecko

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Honestly I visit for ideas. They even have a page of advice for writers.

50627 words so far Winner! for my characters. Though I actually used the names of Knights of the Round Table for my elite group of Knights. (writng fantasy)

During the world building stage I cheated a little. I needed names for cities and estates around the Kingdom. So I used names of farms in Norway. Oddly though, I don't have a name for the Kingdom yet.

I was always kind of scared by my mother's obsession with the 'good scissors.' It implied that somewhere in the house lurked... the evil scissors.

151179 words so far Winner!

I edited a baby names book, all 100,000 of those names, most of which were not from the sources the author said they were. Guess who got to reference them. I have a strong connection to name meanings, cultural overtones, time/historical appropriateness, and not sounding like a cheesy moniker. I get turned off by character names that are so obviously ridiculous or don't suit the book. A Victorian steampunk novel with Britney? Um, no.

28000 words so far

I limit my novels to one character. Or two characters if I'm feeling ambitious.

(... this would be funnier if it wasn't mostly true. xD)

-unhelpful comment is unhelpful.-

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51644 words so far Winner!

The most hilariously useful comment I ever encountered about this topic:

Read the "From" names in the Spam folder of your e-mail.

Seriously, I laughed myself sick and then found some terrific ideas.

Try it.

50257 words so far Winner!

I second this -- using It really is a great resource.

Multiple ways to search -- by gender, by meaning, by origin, etc.

Looking for a Kyrgyz name? They've got 3
Limburgish? 57
Finnish mythology? 20
Ancient Germanic? 373 possibilities

Want a name that means brave? There's dozens of them listed, from around the world and various time periods.

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