Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Character Called ------

I've talked a few times about the next book I'm working on (and the other book that keeps trying to push out of my head and take up my time). I'm about eighty pages into the book (hand written, of course, I'll use the summer to start typing it up). I have it plotted out and know where I'm going with my characters, but there's a major problem that I'm having with it.

My main character doesn't have a name.

Crazy, right?

Her sister, Amelia, is another major character in the book, and she's been named since the day I started writing the story.

But for some reason, I can't find the right now for my character.

I'm a bit baffled by this. I can hear her voice, I can picture her and I know her wants and motivations. I just don't know what she's called.

I've tried going through baby name websites, but nothing is working.

I'm sure it'll come to me, but I'm getting sick of writing my book by using a dashes to replace my main character's name. In fact, It's driving me nuts!

How do you come up with your characters' names?

What are your characters' names?

What names of characters do you particularly like in books? For me, it's Jay Gatsby...I love that name!

Characters names are important; I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.


Kristan said...

Hmm, dunno what names I particularly like, but I do know that I'm not a fan of Katniss Everdeen (even though I ADORE that book). I mean it just sounds like "catnip". No thanks.

I've had the same problem as you before, and basically I put in a placeholder name and change it later. I once wrote an entire screenplay (for class) and then when I was out to dinner with a friend, I realized HER name was perfect for the main character, so I changed it. You never know when/where you're going to get the right name from, but I would try not to stress about it now. ---- works, or Placeholder, or Jane. :)

Christine Fonseca said...

I find names everywhere. Sometimes I randoming scrolling through baby name sites, and sometimes I meet someone with a name I like. Most of te time, however, the MC whispers it my head.

Janet Johnson said...

Good luck with that! I'm sure it'll come.

I often go to baby name sites on-line and see what names mean. Seems to help.

Angie Paxton said...

Usually my names just come to me with the character, but I've had a few that have cycled through five or six names before I found the one that fits just right. I too use baby name lists and also the names of people from my past.

Lisa and Laura said...

First of all, I can't believe you hand write! WOW!

When we're choosing names, we try to make them accessible and modern. Basically, I think of my daughter's friends names and find one that fits.

I think it will come to you--I bet it's extra hard because you're a teacher! I had the HARDEST time agreeing on a name for our daughter. Although my husband threw names out like Giselle, so it was a bit of a challenge.

Anonymous said...

I like to look through baby name websites, and I have a baby name app on my iPod. Even then, I have to ponder carefully about each name. To me, naming the MC and major supporting characters is a big deal. I want the name to fit the character.

Lisa Nowak said...

Back in high school, I had a baby name book I used (this was before the Internet). You can bet I got some teasing when people saw me with that.

I have to say I'm like Angie. Usually the names come to me with the characters. Though I'm contemplating a new book, and I couldn't think of names for two characters, so I gave them placeholder names, and I think I might stay with them.

When I'm naming characters I don't like, I give them names I hate. My minor characters get random names. But that backfired on me once, because a minor character turned out to be really important, so now I'm stuck with this guy named Denny Brisco. Somehow I just couldn't change it after all that time. :)

Kathy Fenton White said...

I find it hard to move forward when I can't find the right name for my character. I have tried the baby name site. I figure out what type of heritage I want my character to have then search for names from that country. (I like the random name generator. Every once in a while it comes up with a good name.) I usually make a list of names that I like that are good possiblities. Sometimes I just come across a name on a blog or the internet that jumps out at me.

I'm struggling with my MC's name right now. I thought I had came to me out of the blue..but the more I say the name out loud, the more I don't think it's the right one. The search goes on! Maybe you can come up with a name for me and I'll come up with one for you :)

Christina Lee said...

The hand-writing thing amazes me too. Usually I'll just put a stand-in name down and then go back and change it later. Good luck!