How do you decide on the names for the characters in your books? Do you have a list of names and as you are writing decide which name will fit which personality?
After writing over a hundred stories, character names are definitely becoming a bit of a struggle. Some names can be reused while others are so definitive for their stories that I could never reuse them no matter how long ago I wrote the story. Geoff, Eli, Sean, Red, When I'm writing a story I try to pick a name that fits the feel I want the character to have. It doesn't always work, but that's what I try to do. There are times when I give the character one name to start the story and then change it later. Dominic is sometimes very helpful with names, as well as titles.
I wish I had a list of names that I want to use, but I don't. I sometimes think of people I meet or the names of folks I used to work with., but that well is running dry. Sometimes I use web sites. For example the Professional Bull Riders web site has a lot of men with unusual names. A visit can sometimes yield interesting results. I hate to say it, but mostly I wing it.
Now there are exceptions. If I am writing a character with a specific ethnicity, I will check out popular names in that language or country. For example, when writing A Spirit Without Borders which is set in Liberia, I did extensive research on names for that country so my characters would feel authentic. I did the same for One Good Deed and The Good Fight stories. Sometimes alot goes into choosing a name and other times it can be easy and the perfect one appears immediately. (Red came to me right away, so did Bull) Either way I try to choose each character name to suit their personality.
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