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  1. crazyforkate

    Naming Characters

    So writers, how do you name characters? What's important to you? I like taking the top 1000 of a given year in the country it takes place (though, say, US and Canada may be fairly interchangeable). Basically, it needs to be conceivable that a someone living in that time and place might be named that way. However, they also can't be too close to a person I know well. My dad's name is David, so I will never have a character named David - I will just imagine my dad instead of the character. At the same time, the name has to be based on the character I have in mind, who usually comes to mind fully formed. Baby name websites (especially NameVoyager) and Wikipedia might really help when I'm looking for just the right name (one of my characters is Hungarian, so I just went through a list of Hungarian athletes). As well, I can't have too much repetition. There can't be too many names of the same rhythm, first letter or origin, which is what I'm currently struggling with. So far, in my ensemble cast I have Elizabeth (Beth) Lynskey (main character), Claire Holland, Monika Fodor (Hungarian) and Roman Zharkov (Russian), Cameron McDonough, Daisy Blair, Colleen Gibson, Susannah Lawrence, Max Hewitt, Julia Dusek (Czech), Joel/Spencer (not 100% sure) Ross and a professor known by the surname Bowman. All are to some extent based on real people, but their names are pretty dissimilar. Not all of these characters may appear in the finished novel, but I'm definitely worried about having just the right amount of variety. What do you focus on? Which resources do you turn to?
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