Linda Maye Adams

Picking names for story characters


When I first started writing, I used to labor over finding just the “right” character name. What defined “right”?

Not a clue.

I’d geta baby name book — you know how hard it is buying one of those? Everyone thinks you’re having a baby, not a writer trying to find a name. I’d go through the book and identify about six or so names caught my attention. Didn’t pay any attention to what the name meant.

Then I’d go through my list and scratch out this one and that one because maybe I liked it a little less than the others.

Today …

For an urban fantasy short story I’m working on (Green Magic in Washington DC — the Cherry Blossoms are coming, you know), I was hunting through the Washington Post for last names of writers of the articles. Honestly, after doing a novel which had 30 characters because of the type of story it was, a name just isn’t that big of a deal.

Some writers say that the name makes the character, but I find that’s not true. I make the character. If I don’t do that right, a name isn’t going to change that.

2 Comments

  1. livrancourt

    “Some writers say that the name makes the character, but I find that’s not true. I make the character. If I don’t do that right, a name isn’t going to change that.”

    Funny how far a little common sense will go. You nailed it with this one.

    Like

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