What is in a name – coming up with names

This blog post, “What is in a name – coming up with names” is a part of the daily prompt challenge provided by WordPress.

Write about your first name: its meaning, significance, etymology, etc.

I don’t particularly like my first name. It is a derivative of Elizabeth. I also learned that my mothers name stems from Elizabeth. I never got a nickname either that stuck. My maiden name on the other hand I feel so connected to that I decided to keep it when I got married.

First impressions matter, and part of this is the presentation of names. I remember being introduced to Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the wind and Bastian in The never-ending story. And I love many of the names from Harry Potter.

Use a name generator

When I began to write, I had a lot of trouble coming up with names. Often I would just type xx. Today there are a lot of name generators out there. For fun, I use the one built into Scrivener instead of typing xx for a name I haven’t come up with yet. When writing this post I came across this ✒︎ name generator. It has a fun option of providing the suggested name with a short life story.

Use your imagination

However, the names I stick with for my stories come from my imagination, and it is hard to explain but I know when the character and the name are finally a fit. Sometimes a character will have a working name like the novel has a working title and eventually, the name will change into something that sounds right. One of my favorite names I have chosen for one of my characters is Atla.

How do you come up with names for your writing? Let me know in the comments.

Want to learn more about creating a character apart from coming up with the name – go and grab a free PDF questionnaire here.


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