Create a new character from scratch by beginning with the name first. Write as much as you know about him or her, and let the character carry you into a story.
Barbara Kingsolver achieved international success with novels like The Bean Trees, Animal Dreams, and The Poisonwood Bible. At readings and lectures, she is frequently asked where she finds the names for her characters (who often have distinctive monikers like Turtle, Lloyd, Oreanna, Rose-Johnny, Newt Hardbine and Annawake Fourkiller.) Kingsolver explains, “I give almost as much thought to the naming of my principal characters as I did with my children.”
In fact, the names of Halimeda and Cosima Noline (the two sisters in Animal Dreams) came straight out of “Name That Baby” book that Kingsolver references while developing her characters. These books are inexpensive and invaluable references for the fiction writer, because they’re loaded with useful information about the origins and derivations of common names. More importantly, they also contain hundreds of uncommon names – great names like Tamonoa and Cormac and Octovia – that will help lend your character a sense of individuality. ………… by Jason Rekulak
I my last novel, the name of my character actually helped create the title of my book, “Town Without Mercy.” My main character’s name was Mercedes, but called Mercy for short. If you haven’t read it yet, I am not giving any spoilers.
Tell me about YOUR new character or one you recently named. How did you decide on that name?