Sunday, October 23, 2011

Choosing Character Names

Hi everyone,

What's in a name? Depending on your beliefs the answer to this question could be a lot! For example, I took a few minutes to look up my name, as well as both of my daughters names on and discovered the following: 

Becky \b(ec)-ky\ as a girl's name is pronounced BEK-ee. It is of English origin. Pet form of Rebecca (Hebrew) "to bind". Often used as an independent given name, and popular in the 18th and 19th centuries. Becky Sharp, heroine of William Thackeray's novel "Vanity Fair".

Megan \m(e)-gan\ as a girl's name is pronounced MEG-an, MEE-gan, MAY-gan. It is of Welsh origin. Variant of Margaret (Greek) "pearl", based on the short form Meg. Phonetic spellings of Megan are used to ensure one of the three pronunciations. See also Meegan. Actress Megan Mullaly.

Kirsten \k(i)-rs-ten, kir-sten\ as a girl's name is pronounced KERS-ten. It is of Scandinavian and Latin origin, and the meaning of Kirsten is "follower of Christ". Variant of Christine. The name has been in use in Scotland since long ago. Actresses Kirstie Alley, Kirsten Dunst.

As you can see, depending on what persona you may want your character to emulate, a name could make or break them for some readers. How do you go about choosing names for your characters? Do you pull them from someone you know (e.g. neighbor, friend, colleague, your family) or just scribble a bunch down on paper put them in a hat a draw names?

If you are like me and you feel a little lost when trying to pick that perfect name for the character in your book, perhaps you would like to pick up The Writer's Digest Character Naming Sourcebook; The Ultimate Guide to Choosing Character Names and a one-of-a-kind resource specifically designed with the writer in mind. Inside you'll find:

  • 25,000+ first names and surnames, and their meanings, listed by origin
  • Names and surnames from more than 45 countries
  • A reverse lookup of names by meaning
  • An alphabetical index of names
  • An explanation of naming practices and historical context for each origin
  • A list of the top ten most popular names in the United States every year from 1880-2003
  • Instruction on how to create believable names that fit your characters and your story

This comprehensive guide also includes advice from a number of best-selling authors, including Elizabeth George, Alexander McCall Smith, Homer Hickam, Marian Keyes, Big Fish author Daniel Wallace, and others. You'll get the inside scoop on their naming methods, plus the stories behind the names of their most famous characters.

So throw out your old telephone books and baby-naming guides—The Writer's Digest Character Naming Sourcebook
meets all your naming needs!

Have a great day!!


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