The Naming Game


I’ve had this post in my draft folder for a couple of days, and yesterday morning, I sat, with my cup of tea (every morning I read other peoples blog posts while I drink my first tea of the day lol) and discovered that a fellow blogger was talking about exactly the same thing…. spooky!

Check out journeyofjordannaeast where she talks about the struggles of naming characters πŸ™‚

Anyway, as most of my regular readers will know, I do a prompt a day, a short story or the start of one. So everyday I’m trying to come up with names for characters. Every couple of weeks I sit and dedicate a whole page in my notebook to ‘Name Ideas’ so I’m always on the look out for methods, tips and resources πŸ™‚

So here are some ways/places I get my character names from:

1. The credits on a film I’ve just watched. (I’ve been known to play the end credits frame by frame before now lol).

2. Books on quotations. I’m currently using a battered old copy of The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations that I picked up in a charity shop for a quid πŸ™‚

20120314-080125.jpg

3. Wikipedia which is a great source. Say I needed the name for a male character of a certain age who comes from Brazil. Search for the Brazilian football team and bobs your uncle! (English version of hey presto lol) You have a list of all the players πŸ™‚

20120314-080433.jpg

4. One of my absolute favourites…..any excuse obviously lol…..FaceBook! If you’re the member of any groups, check out the members list, you can usually see how old people are from their photo’s. Or if you have a friend (or family member) who has millions of friends (like my daughter who I think has about 800), check out their friends list.

5. Here in the UK a lot of our local papers have a Births, Deaths & Marriages section. Can be quite useful as you will know exact ages (as too can be the reporters names in the same paper).

6. Stuck for a surname? Google Maps πŸ™‚ Pick a town, city, place…..road/street names are excellent for surnames. Or even a paper map (they do still exist you know lol)

20120314-082545.jpg

My favourites from this one: Green – Ridley – Addington – Hartley – Cliffe – Halling and of course Rochester (hasn’t that one already been used? Lol)

7. And finally, name generators online. I don’t often need to use these sites, but if I do, my favourite is Seventh Sanctum which has loads of links to creativity generators.

Obviously you can use baby name books, but I find the modern ones hard because a name that is listed may have only been in existence for a few years. No good if trying to name a 45 year old.

One final thing about using real peoples names>;;>;;>;;>;;>;;>;; When I use FaceBook for name ideas I’m very careful to mix up surnames with first names. I don’t ever use their first name and surname combined. That could get you in a lot of hot water. But, if you think about it, whatever name you choose there is bound to be someone out there who has that exact combination of first and second name.

One last tip…..make sure all your characters names all start with different letters and don’t sound the same. Your reader will be way confused. I recently read a story where a dog was called Taylor and the baby was Tyler. I had to re-read a whole section as I thought it was still talking about the dog, and wondered what it was doing in a cot πŸ˜‰

So how do you come up with your characters names? I would love to hear yor ideas/tips and resources.

Yesterday’s prompt was write about fruit flesh. Yuk, that just sounds wrong! lol. I know it is flesh, but….. Lol. Anyway, I came up with a sweet little story about a girl on a bench eating a pear. An old man sits down and chats and it turns out he’s a retired market stall holder (his son has taken over the business) who use to sell fruit and vege. That’s as far as I got, but I’m thinking there’s a romance there, especially as the son is a hunky barrow boy *sniggers*
Today’s prompt is this is how lonesome feels which is already depressing me and I haven’t even started writing yet lol

Advertisements

The “Place” Experiment Part 1


Do you remember my idea about The Place Experiment? No? Ok, read this post first if you don’t πŸ˜‰

It was a horrible yucky, cold, wet, absolutely miserable week in Kent. To the point where Sunday was my first opportunity to start the experiment (Saturday was nice but hubby was at home all day lol).

So the first place under scrutiny is…..

Location: My back garden
Time: 7.30 am
Date: Sunday 11th March

It always amazes me, how quiet Sunday mornings are. Even the birds seem to know that everyone is still asleep at this ungodly hour. There’s a chill in the air, a freshness that you only get with spring. My garden is a mess. Perhaps this wasn’t the best location to start with. I’m finding it hard to find any words other than sad ones when I look around. The weeds, the overgrown bushes, there are no flowers. My Rowan tree has tiny little buds on it’s branches, indicating, hopefully, that it’s survived the winter. I often feel a bit like my garden, worn out and neglected (lol), just waiting for that something to come along and brighten everything up. I’m waffling aren’t I? Because I have nothing to say, nothing to dream about, and nothing to write. Most of the time I’m full of ideas, they bubble away under the surface, just waiting for an opportunity, a chance to escape. But sitting here now I feel strangely numb…..or is that just content? Is this finally a place I find relaxing? I usually find that hard, my head constantly swims but not at this moment. How odd? To be feeling so blank. Is that actually a good thing? Is this where I should come in future to calm my mind? Should I take up gardening as a serious hobby? Ok, Georgie (my dog) is looking at me strangely, wondering why I’m sitting in the garden (she’s not use to it). In future, I’m going to make more of an effort to use the outdoor space around me…..roll on the summer!

Hmmmmm, so was that a success? Did i actually discover something? It definitely didn’t inspire me to write differently or better….I just found it surprisingly relaxing lol, perhaps too relaxing.

Here’s my view πŸ™‚

20120311-101258.jpg

What a mess!!!! 😦 But something was achieved….I have a man coming at some stage this week to tidy it all up *grins* I’ve decided, I need to use it more πŸ™‚

This begs the question where is your favourite place to relax and chill?

I found yesterday’s prompt completely uninspiring, or was that more to do with the looming dental appointment lol 😦 I sat staring at it for ages (there’s always one I struggle with every couple of weeks). I finally gave up and read a book instead lol. I will catch up today when I do attending a ceremony which should be fun πŸ˜‰

I did however manage to finish a short story that I’m doing as homework for my writing class, the one prompted by a horoscope…..so it wasn’t all bad πŸ˜‰