**My theme for this year’s A to Z Challenge is THE NAME GAME. Everything you’d want to know about naming characters.**
There are several factors that could go in to naming a character. You may need to do a ton of research to find that one perfect name. But there is another technique, and it is probably the most basic when it comes to choosing a character’s name. That technique is to simply choose a name out of thin air.
Whenever this happens, I like to think of it as the character naming him/herself. You as the writer didn’t actually create the character; you’re merely telling his story and since he is a real person, he already has a name. Seems a little silly, but it really does feel that way. At a certain point during the early stages of plotting the story, the name will simply pop into your head as if the character whispered it in your ear. And for some strange, magical reason, whenever this happens the name is always right and always perfect.
Now this is probably easier said than done and it most likely won’t work for every character you ever create. But some characters are special. Sometimes the name is like an instinct. You just know when it feels right. Trying to change it feels like it would break your heart.
How exactly do you make the magical spontaneous name happen? Well, it’s really all about luck. It could happen, but it’s not guaranteed, no matter how passionate you are about this particular story or character. If you really want to make it happen, though, I have a few tips. Try to tune out everything around you—no noise, no computer, no phone. Close your eyes and think about your character. Don’t actually think about names. You don’t want a full list to flood your brain—you just want that perfect one. Think about what your character looks like, his mannerisms, the different things that will happen to him in your book. Think about someone calling his name. Then, hopefully it will come to you.
WHAT I’VE DONE: If you usually frequent my blog, I know what you may be wondering. Did Jordan name himself? OF COURSE HE DID. I have no say in anything else he does; why would I get to choose his name? I have no idea where his name came from. It just popped into my head and was instantly perfect.
Do your characters ever choose their own names? What do you do to get your character to speak to you?