30 Days Of Writing Questions
03. How do you come up with names, for characters (and for places if you’re writing about fictional places)?
I always knew, there are no coincidences ... just a few days ago, I've answered to 'Naming Characters'. Now, I only have to tweak the lines for my own post!
In real life names and myself are not best friends. As a child I didn't like my name, these days I'm okay with it, but I still like the sound of the English 'Caren' more than the German 'Karin'. And you can say, names are nothing but smoke and mirrors for me, literally. I hear them and *puff*, a second later I've forgotten them again. I'm really a sheer disaster with remembering names!
Call it the logical consequence or no sense at all, but I'm quite severe with the names of my written characters. The names do not only have to suit to the characters, more important is, they have to feel right.
Luckily, most of the time, the names pop out of nowhere, they just appear with the character, are a part of their personality. Are given fact! Sometimes I have to research a little, because I simply don't have the knowledge, e.g. I needed an old traditional name with Irish or Scottish background for one of my current main characters. And sometimes I use names of characters in books or movies, because they remind me of my character and/or have the qualities, the look I have in mind.
Until now, I didn't have to think about fictional places and my 'Voodoo Island' doesn't have a name ... maybe I should think about that, how the natives call their home for the end of story?!?
Oh, one more thing. There is a Writing Exercise dealing with that topic: Names Is For Tombstones.