Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Writers' Wednesday: What's in a Name??

Okay writers, let me ask you: how do you choose your characters' names? Do they just come to you? Do you have a resource book you use? Do you page through the phone book? (Do you still own a phone book?) Do you wander around graveyards and look at tombstones for inspiration (no joke, I have a friend who's a playwright and he does just that). There was a great article in Writer's Digest about the importance of names, and a few points are worth mentioning:

~Some names resonate as "miniature poems" : Holly Golightly, Atticus Finch, Scarlett O'Hara
~Some names are ironic: give a clumsy, awkward guy a name like Powers or Strong
~Some names are symblic: John Singer, a deaf-mute who's a prophet in The Heart is a Lonely Hunter (but don't go too far! Avoid giving your hero the initials J.C.)
~Some names tap into connotative suggestions: Draco Malfoy (taken from root words suggesting dragon and malice)

Having said all that, I need a strong last name for my current hero. His first name is Lucas - he's about 6'7", beefy, ex-football player, and he's pretty introverted. The story takes place in a small New England town, and his family has lived there for three generations. Any ideas?

2 comments:

Mom said...

How about Stoddard?(May be too many s'es,though. He was Sec. of State to Lincoln!

Matthew's Mom said...

I think it should be a one syllable name. You can almost hear the period after it. Maybe something like Stone.