Last week my writing hit a wall! That wall was made of colorful Post-its, pinned to the cork board above my writing desk. I had come to the point in the story where I could no longer get by with general, generic names–those given out in the initial pursuit of practicality and momentum.
As I introduced my leading character’s sidekick, this became painfully obvious. The words were stifled and lacking, because an element of liveliness was missing. My character was ready to live and breathe–yet could not! Hence, he needed to be named, like all things that are created. (Actually, he still needs to be named.)
From this fantasy story’s earliest conception, he has been called simply: “Red man”. (Rest assured that this is not an ethnic reference, more of a literal observation.) Similarly, other characters had/have temporary pet names, take Yoda-like man for example(short, wise and speaks his mind). So, I pulled out the baby-naming books and my overflowing “name” file, which holds scraps of papers scribbled with various names and words. Those names are found(stolen) from books, magazines, movies, the shoe boxes at Kohl’s, name tags of workers and even the yearly unclaimed money/property register. Names are truly everywhere–you just have to be open to receiving them. I do, however draw the line at searching the obituaries!
Again, I’m at a standstill. I need the name. A solid and strong name, perhaps a name from long ago that can be resurrected and recycled.
I’d love to hear from other writers! What is your character-naming process like? I’m especially curious as to the naming process for fantasy and/or other uncommon world genres.