Coming Up With Character Names

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Choosing Baby Names

(Naming my characters, basically the same thing)

For me, one of the very challenging parts of taking on a new novel is trying to decide the names for the characters. The name is not normally the first thing that comes to me when I begin to develop a character. It is generally something that follows, because I really want the name to represent the character.

Cover for What Little Remains

So how did I decide on the character names?

  • Charlotte Abigail Adams

    • Though her full name is never used in the first book, this was what I decided upon for Charlie. I wanted her to have a very traditional, female name that could be shortened to something more boyish. To everyone in the first book, she is known as Charlie.
    • Believe it or not, Charlie was not the first name that I had settled on for this character. Looking back, I slightly cringe at the fact that the original name for this character was Selena. I’m not sure exactly why. Her nickname was “Lena”. I was never happy with that name, which is why it did eventually change. No one has ever read the version with the other name and since my writing skills have evolved greatly since then. Hopefully they never will.
  • Ricky Scott McQueen

    • I’m not sure why, but Ricky has always been Ricky McQueen. While his character has definitely evolved through my drafts, his name has always been the same. I really wanted a last name that sounded like it could have been part of some kind of mob or mafia. The kind of last name that sounded deadly and wouldn’t be as common so there was no mistaking it for anything other than Ricky.
  • John William Northwood

    • John has always been John. I really wanted a standard name for this character. A traditional name for the more traditional male character. As for his last name, it has an importance that you will find out later.
  • Daren Lee Anderson

    • Daren has always had this name, though his part in the stories has evolved in each draft. It was always a name that I liked and I thought that I would fit very well with Daren’s character. Daren also means “great” and I can say that he does live up to his name.
  • Daniel Adams

    • More commonly known as “Danny”. I really wanted a name that sounded like a little brother name, but would also stand alone well as a name. I also wanted a name for this character that wouldn’t be confuse with any other characters.
  • Nicole

    • Nicole was no always part of this story. In fact, Nicole used to be Nick. However, I realized that Charlie really needed a strong female character in her life. Thus, her very good guy friend Nick turned into the brave and loyal Nicole. I’ve always liked the name and thought that it would be a strong name for a strong female character. Nicole means “people’s victory”.

So this is some of the thought process that went into picking my character’s names.

Till next time.

-GW

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