3. How do you come up with names, for characters (and for places if you’re writing about fictional places)?
Naming characters is one of my favorite things. I know the process drives many other writers bonkers, but I find it a lot of fun. It’s also thrilling because it is only when I know the character’s name that they truly start opening up to me.
Sometimes, there is no process at all. Their name comes to me, and that’s it.
Other times, there is a bit of work.
First, I think of the period the story takes place and also their cultural background. I’ll go to an online baby name site and scan down the names, jotting down the ones that stick out to me as fitting the character. Sometimes, I immediately know “this is THEIR name” when I see it. Other times, a few names will duke it out. In that case, I will write scenes with the different names until one becomes the evident winner.
As for naming places- a lot of times I don’t bother. When I do- I just look up real place names for ideas and change accordingly.
What is your process?