Home Forums Fiction Writing Critiques Novel Idea Critiques I need a character name! Help!

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This topic contains 43 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  Aislinn Mollisong 2 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #24650

    S.G.Dewey
    @s-g-dewey
    • Rank: Charismatic Rebel
    • Total Posts: 35

    I have had a pretty serious writer’s block since… well, for longer than I care to admit. Anyway, I am really excited about I new book I have started plotting/planning (and so forth) but I haven’t a name for the main character. (Late 18th century England) I would love some help, hopefully a name will help get me out of the block.
    Here are some facts about him.
    Curly brown hair, light blue eyes, average height. He is a lieutenant in the Royal Navy and ran away from home when he was only 13, due to abusive, lazy parents. He is hard on everyone, especially himself. He’s logical. Quick to anger, slow to trust or believe, but very loyal to his few friends.
    Can anyone help?
    @sarah-h , @gretald , @winter-rose , @ethryndal , @daeus , @anne-swiftblade , @dragon-snapper , @christi-eaton , @jess , @emma-flournoy , @rolena-hatfield , @kate-flournoy .

    #24651

    Gabrielle
    @winter-rose
    • Rank: Eccentric Mentor
    • Total Posts: 1319

    @s-g-dewey I’m not the best at names, but here’s a few: Edward, James, August, Joseph, Benjamin, Peter, John, Weston, Quigley, Mason.

    I WILL survive college. Probably. https://thegreatrisingpuzzlement.wordpress.com/

    #24652

    Daeus
    @daeus
    • Rank: Chosen One
    • Total Posts: 3905

    Digney. Er, that’s the first thing that came to mind, but I completely invented it.

    #24654

    Kate Flournoy
    @kate-flournoy
    • Rank: Chosen One
    • Total Posts: 3828

    @s-g-dewey hm, I’m best with wayyyy older names, but I shall see what I can think of… Francis. William. Laurence. Alexander. Oliver. Douglas. Richard. Martin. George.
    I’ll let you know if I think of anything else…

    And congratulations on defeating your writer’s block! *cheers*

    INFP. As weird as you think I am, and then some. https://kateeverythingwriting.wordpress.com/

    #24655

    Ethryndal
    @ethryndal
    • Rank: Knight in Shining Armor
    • Total Posts: 878

    @s-g-dewey CONFETTI AND CYBER HUGS ABOUT WRITER’S BLOCK VICTORY! Now tell me your secret. Is it chocolate? πŸ˜›

    There are so many good names from the time period you’re writing about, it’s hard to narrow the list down. What letter do you think it should start with? Your character sounds like a rather militant type of person, so I would suggest going with more clipped sounding letters, like T or C, instead of softer, milder ones. (W, P, M, etc.) Also, if I was you, I would try to steer clear of more common names like James or John, just because there are a lot of books with MCs named that. (Unless, of course, you really want to, because after all, it is your character, and if a name fits, it fits. πŸ™‚ )

    Speaking of names fitting, here’s a little cautionary tale derived from my own past experience: If a name doesn’t fit, don’t force it to just because you feel like you need to find one NOW. Trust me. Once, I couldn’t find a name that worked for a certain character I had just created, so I went to my name list, closed my eyes, and pointed. The name that came up was Letsap. (don’t read it backwards, it’s too embarrassing for me πŸ˜‰ ) It didn’t really fit my character too well, but what the heck, I thought, it’s just a name. Heh. Then one day I created the name Hemlin, and suddenly realized that it would be perfect for this character. But by then, it was almost impossible to change it from Lestap to Hemlin, because I had been mentally referring to him as Letsap for about a year. He is Hemlin now, but it did take a great deal of blood, sweat, and chocolate to readjust.

    Moral of the story: If you can’t immediately find a name that you like, give it time. One will eventually come, I promise. Just call your character the Nameless One (named Gnag the Nameless. πŸ™‚ Have you ever read the Wingfeather saga?) until then.

    Well. This got a little long. *clears throat* I’ll go now. πŸ™‚

    TheSarcasticElf.wordpress.com

    #24657

    Ethryndal
    @ethryndal
    • Rank: Knight in Shining Armor
    • Total Posts: 878

    Oh wait, you didn’t defeat your writer’s block. You’re trying to defeat it by finding a name. Oops. I have a problem with reading things too fast. I saw @kate-flournoy‘s post and got my faulty information from that, so… IT’S HER FAULT, NOT MINE!!! Not to shift blame or anything… πŸ˜‰

    TheSarcasticElf.wordpress.com

    #24680

    Kate Flournoy
    @kate-flournoy
    • Rank: Chosen One
    • Total Posts: 3828

    Oops @ethryndal *ducks head* But I thought it was good she even had an idea, considering she’d had writer’s block for a long time?

    And that’s true what you said about forcing names. I’ve never done that, but I’ve had to change names before, and let me tell you it was not fun. I referred to her as Lily for months after I changed it, just cuz it had been that way for about a year and a half. πŸ˜›

    INFP. As weird as you think I am, and then some. https://kateeverythingwriting.wordpress.com/

    #24684

    S.G.Dewey
    @s-g-dewey
    • Rank: Charismatic Rebel
    • Total Posts: 35

    @winter-rose , Oh, I like Benjamin! πŸ™‚ That’s going in my top few.

    @daeus , Digney is actually a really cool name! I wouldn’t use it on my main character, it doesn’t seem to fit, but I might use it on another character in the book. Thanks.

    #24685

    S.G.Dewey
    @s-g-dewey
    • Rank: Charismatic Rebel
    • Total Posts: 35

    @kate-flournoy , Douglas is really good. I guess I’m going to decide a little more on some parts of his character before I finalize, but I really like Douglas!

    @ethryndal , Unfortunately, I have been cursed with changing a character’s name… from Steve to Alfred… yeah. Terrible idea, but I much prefer Alfred. It fits much better. I totally agree, it’s terrible. Names are almost the hardest part of the book. Well, and titles.
    I don’t really like common names so much, but I like names that are easy to pronounce. It’s annoying in some books every person in my family pronounces the name different. (And I am rambling, sorry)
    Anyway, I would love to have found the key to writer’s block, but I haven’t. Let me know if you stumble across it. πŸ˜‰

    #24686

    S.G.Dewey
    @s-g-dewey
    • Rank: Charismatic Rebel
    • Total Posts: 35

    @ethryndal , Yes! I have read (and own) Wingfeather Saga! One of the best series!

    #24687

    Ethryndal
    @ethryndal
    • Rank: Knight in Shining Armor
    • Total Posts: 878

    @s-g-dewey I’m still convinced it’s chocolate. πŸ™‚ And ah yes, those terrible names where you sit and stare at it for three minutes trying to figure out if it’s Thee-o-den, or Thay-o-den. Fortunately, I don’t think I’ve got that problem; one of my MCs is named Lotch… But if you’re not writing fantasy, then thankfully, most people will probably know how to pronounce it. (Unless it’s Hermione, but I digress… πŸ™‚ )

    AND NO SPOILERS!!! πŸ˜› I just finished the first book and am anxiously waiting for the second to come in to the library. I like. Much.

    TheSarcasticElf.wordpress.com

    #24689

    Sarah Hoven
    @sarah-h
    • Rank: Knight in Shining Armor
    • Total Posts: 669

    @s-g-dewey Percy and Archie are two of my favorite English names. Edwin is too, but it’s probably too medieval for the 1800s.

    #24697

    Dragon Snapper
    @dragon-snapper
    • Rank: Chosen One
    • Total Posts: 2701

    @s-g-dewey Writer’s block…grr.. Yep, I’ve had that for longer than I care to say as well, though I am definitely getting over it. Story ideas everywhere!
    As for names: William, Alexander, Raynold, David… why is it so hard to come up with names, self? There are millions in the world, and yet I can only come up with four. πŸ˜›

    "Resistance is futile."

    #24709

    S.G.Dewey
    @s-g-dewey
    • Rank: Charismatic Rebel
    • Total Posts: 35

    @ethryndal , I hate receiving spoilers, so I promise I won’t spill anything. πŸ™‚ I pronounce it Thay-o-den. How about you?

    @sarah-h , I actually have an Edwin in another book I’m in the middle of, that takes place in the 1200’s! πŸ™‚ So, I like it too.

    @dragon-snapper , I’m glad you are getting over yours. Now you can pass the torch (or the pen πŸ˜‰ ). That’s one of the things I love about writers. No matter how good (or bad) they are, everyone can relate to writer’s block. It’s not solitary. (Hallelujah)

    #24713

    Ethryndal
    @ethryndal
    • Rank: Knight in Shining Armor
    • Total Posts: 878

    @dragon-snapper @s-g-dewey Though some of us more than others may be prone to chuckle evilly when they hear a fellow has it and they’re not the only one… πŸ˜› Not that I would ever do that… BUT in all seriousness, writer’s block is the worst curse of the writing kind, and I would not wish it upon any one. Really. πŸ˜‰

    I pronounce it Thay-o-den. I probably would have pronounced it Thee-o-den, like Theodore, but I didn’t read or watch LOTR until 2 years ago, and my closest friends since forever have a brother named Thay-o-den. They’ve never seen LOTR… I don’t think they knew… πŸ™‚

    And I think this thread is toxic for me…I keep seeing all these wonderful names and can’t help but want to write a book for each one…

    TheSarcasticElf.wordpress.com

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