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Solaris

Character Names.

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I have found that most of the names for my characters come from various places, one of them came from a book - Kaladan spelled really Caladan in the book Dune, another a variant of a name from a DC comic book Koranad, I'm not even sure where this symbol ' would be located at in her name but the girl is a golden skinned Alien from another planet from the Teen Titans. I am planning on using her name in a story to be written in the month of November. Solaris from a dream that I had.

So where did you find your character names from?

What is the names you used?

Do you change the name a little to fit your character?

Beth

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I think that the best example I can use is for 'Solstice'. my three main character names are Cale Selt, Inigo Santiago, and Tala. It's a werewolf novel and I wanted three characters with different wolf species and three nationalities. I chose the Gray Wolf (North America), Maned Wolf (South America), and Arctic Wolf (Canada). When I chose the names, I decided I wanted not only to take into account the meaning of the names, but their nationality. 'Cale' is an American name meaning 'dog' and 'Selt' is a play on the English word for moon, 'Selene'. 'Inigo' means fiery and is Portuguese as the character comes from Brazil. I also wanted my characters to resemble their wolf counterparts and the Maned Wolf has bright red fur. 'Santiago' is after a saint that cut himself into a thousand pieces but did not die until his heart was harmed. 'Tala' is also 'dog' from certain Native American languages as the character is Inuit. In other stories, I picked the names, not only for the age group, but the nationality, but mostly because I liked the name. In 'Stagnation of Love', my main character's name is Frey Johnson simply because I like the name, Frey, while in Tears of the Wolf, my characters names are Toura and Okami, meaning Tiger and Wolf, which greatly fit the characters.

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In my post apocoliptic story chocolate swirls, I take pride in my nearly all male cast.

The leading man/Uke is Evra, a play on words his name stems from the biblical Eve. He is very pretty and feminene in his apperance. His co star is Shinsuke Corrigan a tall strong yet slender man with short spiky hair and narrow eyes. Shinsuke's profession remains a secret untill close to the end of the story. The shop owner Is Shinsuke's brother Julius and his role dosent quite last but I feel he fit the bill as a one shot charector. Evra has a sister whom he dreams of Named Minna She also is a one shot charector because of the state she is in through the duration of the story.

Various side charectors appear and only a few have been given names, Conrad the one eyed gang leader. Pastor Benton the owner of the orphanage, and two orphans by the names of Shiro and Ryuchi.

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Great question, Beth! I really enjoy reading the various responses -- awesome to "see" how each author approaches naming a little differently.

Amusingly enough, my main source of character names has always been baby name books, because I like knowing the origins and meanings of the names. Thinking in terms of my current story, 'The Princess and the Slave,' the baby name books were really secondary. Pierce, one of my current characters, was actually a name I pulled from one of the James Patterson 'Alex Cross' novels. Antony was suggested by my beta, as was Sweet, and Birdie was a name that's been floating around in my head for a few months. Their names, though, definitely suit their personalities. Pierce is a varient of 'Peter,' meaning rock, and he is most definitely the rock and foundation for his father's evil enterprises. While Antony may go off on tangents of vain glory, ambition and arrogance, his son is there to offer the physical prowess and martial expertise to bring his plans to fruition. The meaning for 'Antony' is unknown (though a few of my sources say that it is 'beyond price, invaluable'), but it carries with it the connotation of power, hubris, arrogance and greed. Birdie's name most definitely fits the character -- she chirps, flits, flounces and prances about like a wee little peacock, vain about her looks and demanding of everyone's attention. And Sweet, of course, is just that -- completely innocent and lovable, even when she's being demeaned and subjected in the worst possible ways by her Master. So, above all, the names I use definitely need to fit the vibe of the story and the personalities of the characters themselves.

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Great question, Beth! I really enjoy reading the various responses -- awesome to "see" how each author approaches naming a little differently.

Amusingly enough, my main source of character names has always been baby name books, because I like knowing the origins and meanings of the names.

Thanks, hisbabybird, I too, am enjoying seeing the responses too! I also have a baby book around but my most used book is The Writer's Digest Character Naming Sourcebook authored by Sherrilyn Kenyon. I'm not sure if it is still published by Writer's Digest but it is the most used book for some of my other writing projects when I can't come up with a name and I have to come up with one in a few seconds, I flip through the book and if the character that I have in mind is female or male I go to the proper section of where I think this person would most likely be located at if the person was human, like say Japan or Ireland, I go to their sections in the book and flip through the section till I find the name that I think would be most favorable towards that character.

Beth

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I use Behindthename.com (the first name and surname page) too, but only if I need a name that needs a specific meaning -and even then, I tend to change the spelling slightly if I don't like the original.

I am constantly writing down names that I see or hear -e.g. Spiro Xanthos (I loove that one), Rade, Xanthia, Rhean- all of which I keep in a little book for reference when I need a good, strange, interesting name. I like coming up with guy names the most for some reason (my recent characters have been Astor Delaney, Cillian Blake, Leif Rosenhart).

I got slack in a creative writing class one time for using names that were "unpronounceable." :2tubs: Okay, it was a story about Ragnarök and I was using Nordic names -sheesh.

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I usually always have a nationality/origin in mind for a character whether they are set in fantasy or not. I use http://www.babynamenetwork.com/ to search by origin and choose boy or girl. I find something that sounds cool, something check out that the meaning is something similar to what I'm looking for (though I have no idea how accurate the meanings are) and use that.

For mythological beasts, I typically choose names of gods or goddesses that are lesser known. For example, I just created a gryphon today who is part peregrine falcon and part cheetah. Because of this, I designated Africa to be their origin, and looked up gods and goddesses of various African Tribe pantheons. I couldn't find one that had anything to do with his personality, unfortunately, so I just stuck with something that sounded cool. XD

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My original characters usually name themselves with little need for thought on my part. Though I do keep a baby name book handy, mostly for naming babies born into my Sims 2 game. I will sometimes search the Internet if I'm looking for something specifically ethnic. For example, I wished to name a character "Eurydice" from the Greek myth. I needed a Greek surname to go with it, so I looked up Greek surnames and famous Greek persons and came up with "Savros."

I do like names to have meanings. Especially if I'm writing in the X Men comic-verse, where character names are often descriptive or have a meaning that is supposed to clue you into the nature of the character. Examples: Reynard (french derived, meaning "fox") Wylde, his daughter "Kit" Wylde a.k.a Winter Fox Wylde, and her mother Winter Moon -- a family of mutants resembling were-foxes.

If I'm really stuck, I do prefer the book I have to the name generators I've seen online. It's 20,001 Names for Baby. It actually has my name in it, which is rare, or at least it was before the HP craze. That's why I bought it so many years ago. It's older than my first born by several years I think.

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Guest Zyx

Either I think for hours and hours until I come up with something good.

Or I give them the name of an object in a foreign language.

So sometimes I call my characters Yssel and sometimes I call em Chisio (japanese for blood)

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I got my names from real people I know. >_> So far.... o.o But if I was to use other names that are not from people I know I would just look up in a baby names book and find a name I like. lol XD; I know, I'm a dork. -__-;

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I've used baby name sites. My one story so far is in Harry Potter, where most of the character names have hidden meanings (i.e. Remus Lupin is a werewolf, lupin means wolf; and Sirius Black, who is able to turn into a big black dog, Sirius is the dog constellation.) I went to sites where you can type in a meaning and it gives you names, like babynameworld.com. For instance, I gave Harry a snake that he uses for secret correspondence, and I named her Adelrune, which is a name of Germanic origin that means "noble secret"

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In my Current Issues class, the teacher has this ANCIENT podium from the Mesozoic Era, and it is just completely covered with all of these names of past students that did something nice for the teacher or something along those lines. All I have to do is stare at the podium for a while and I've got a grand resevoir of names to choose from! A few of my favorites are Luke Haddox, Bill Swan and Emily Lane.

I also tend to use names I really like; i. e. Elijah Ritval for my most recent story, Winthrop Manor.

Sometimes names just sort of pop into my head, usually while I'm writing out the introduction to the character. Even if they tend to be a little bizarre, it usually fits so well with the character that I can't really bring myself to change it to make the name more mainstream.

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Well, I ruminate a while, thinking about how my character appears, what sort of person they are, and voila!!! There are one or two names I mixed the letters up in the name of some other character. (that doesn't happen often, and I'm not fully satisfied with it. Very often, I'll find myself glaring at my work knowing that the name is NOT QUITE RIGHT. Kind of like looking for "the pen". (You know, the one that you KNOW writes the good stories!!!! and drives you nuts when you can't find it, and no other pen will do, so you spend half the day looking for your favorite pen before beginning your story) Same thing. But when the name is right, it just clicks. You make a connection with your audience. I always admired those who picked such apt names.

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Hi,

I don't really "find" names, they usually pop into my head. Those that have an appealing sounding ring to them. In the cases I need a true nationality name (Japanese, Italian, etc) then I tend to use a last name nomenclature site. (For my Italian surnames) and I pick those that 'sound' right in my head.

Most names you don't want ridiculously long or hard for your reader to interpret, (unless you cheat and do the following...)

"Cochran turned and said, "Well it's time for you to have a new name my apprentice, so I am calling you Kageryu."

To Martels ears the name sounded like 'kah-jer-Ree-you'. "What does it mean, your not insulting me are you?" the large man idly scratched his chin.

"Nope," Cochran gave a small grin while shouldering his backpack, "nothing bad. In fact the day you learn what it means will mean your tuteledge with me is finished." "

So as a writer I stuck the phoenetic pronounciation in there as how the CHARACTER would here it (Martel) from Cochran.

If I am writing work where that isn't possible (and it can be overused like any other gimmick) I try and pick names that most people can figure out.

Above all (to me) MAIN character names should have a 'ring' to them. If they are too long, then perhaps the name has a nickname that the character is used by... Grelyalkymara would be ponderous to read over and over for the average reader...But perhaps she is simply known as "Mara" by those around her.

Just my humble opinion.

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I get mine from all kinda of places - Plays on names I get from name generator sites, name dictionaries, plays on names from movies and TV, some I just manage to think up - pretty much you name it, nothing too specific typically

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Guest Rosemarius
I find Behindthename.com as a good source for most name meanings.

ditto to that!

Also, I like to make up names by myself. For example, I once wrote about a goddess named Jyntharelle, and about a knight named Tybios. And an asexuated charachter of mine beared the name Ambros.

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