Those who are the closest to me will know that I am…weirdly picky about names for my characters.
I’m drawn to certain names, and one letter in particular, and so they keep popping up when I’m trying to figure out what my character is called. Not only that, but if I have some sort of association with the name, good or bad, it’s immediately off this list. On top of that, the name needs to fit with the character. By that I mean it has to be something his parents would have named him, and also be age appropriate.
I’m not going to name a man Braxton if he’s the forty year old son of Italian immigrants, you know?
Above all, it has to be a name I like, that I won’t mind writing/thinking/seeing a gazillion times.
So sometimes, this is an easy task. Sometimes I see the name and it inspires the character. Sometimes I have the character first, and with very little thought, the name appears. I often have backstories as to why a character has the name they have, despite never getting to work them into the tale. Names are sort of my thing, and have been a bit of an obsession for a long time. I’ve always collected them, collating them away for use somehow, someway.
I’ve barely begun my latest WIP. Just have a few paragraphs written. Just the very beginning. But a big part of that was for days on end, I had no idea what the name of my narrator character was. I didn’t. I had his love interest pretty clearly, and though I did change his name at the very beginning, I quickly found the one that fit him. But for my MC who was telling us the story? I had no idea. I waffled back and forth, changed my mind a dozen times, kept trying on new ones that didn’t quite fit. Friends weighed in on the dislike of a few and offered reasoning for discarding a few others. Nothing felt right anyway. This guy was coalescing in my mind, all his pieces were coming together. I was learning about him, figuring out all the bits that made him, and I had no idea what he was called.
Until it came to me, out of the blue and it fit.
Now all I can think about is Seth, and how he’s going to fall in love with a pretty man. And I’m excited to tell the story.