IWSG: Titles and Names


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The June question:  What's harder for you to come up with, book titles or character names?

Book titles are easy for me to create. I have been known to come up with an awesome title and then create a story for the title. I am that good! Not really! Character names are also easy for me to come up with but are usually 99% of the time WRONG for the characters.
 
So why don’t I wait until after I’ve created my characters, you might ask? You might also suggest that I call them MC or Protag, mean guy or beautiful girl. I have tried this and  can’t do it. When my characters do not have a name, I can’t relate to them, my mind goes blank and the story stops. It’s when the characters start talking to each other that I will see how wrong I was in naming them in the first place. 

It’s like naming your child without spending the first year with it. Oh wait, we actually do that.
 
Naming my characters correctly is one of my many challenges. I won’t even tell you how many times that I use the same names for minor characters, like over and over.

T.
 
Need help with naming characters?

 


Comments

  1. Yet another challenge which faces writers.
    No wonder this reader is a) awed and b) so very grateful to you all.

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  2. I sometimes have to rename characters halfway through a book. :) And series titles are becoming more of a challenge at this stage (especially if I'm to keep up with the punning titles! May have to stop that.)

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  3. Like nameing your child before spending a year. HA! Good point, that. We maybe should reconsider. GRR Martin's wildlings wait until their children are 2 but that is because of high infant mortality--easier to let go of an unnamed babe. I find people and characters both sometimes become what their name makes them, so I try to be careful.

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  4. Wish my titles were easy. I can write about characters without names though. It's just challenging to correctly fill in all of the blanks later.

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  5. There's been times when I left a blank line like this ________ for an antagonist's name because I couldn't come up with a good one for him/her, although I could picture that character clearly.

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  6. Names are a challenge for me, as well. Although your point about naming children is well taken. Maybe I should just pick a character name and go with it, perfect or not. :-)

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  7. I have a system that works well for me. It's based around their personality, symbolism, time period, setting, and familial history. Basically, it's part of the whole character development process.

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  8. I agree, I can't leave spacer words for names while I write. I have to have a name to connect to the character. Names are important aren't they!

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  9. It's been so interesting to see which everyone finds harder - character names or book titles. Loved the part about living with a child for a year before we name them :-)

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  10. If I land up with a badly named character, I tend to give them a nickname they can use instead. Like you hinted at not all names suit the owner. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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  11. As long as you don't mind going back into the story with a find/replace on a wonky name, I don't see anything wrong with your method as you described it. Flexibility is the key to life, after all. Thanks for the post, as well as for the additional links. I love reading articles like the ones you shared. Have a great Wednesday. :)

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  12. Hi Teresa ... choosing names for characters would really test me - as I regularly am tested for blog post titles ... let alone book titles ... writing the book would never happen - cheers Hilary

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  13. I wouldn't like writing characters without a name either. Never have. I could do it, but wouldn't want to.

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  14. I love creating character names - unless it's one of THOSE characters who refuses to be named :)

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  15. I'm with you, Teresa! I can't relate to a character without a name. When they have names I can hear them talking to each other in my head. Have a good one!

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  16. I'm actually OK with naming characters later on and still knowing who they are, I mean in real life I'm not very good with names so I will remember how someone acted without necessarily remembering their name. It is nicer if they have a name though!

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