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?


Mom said...

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

L Finch said...

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