Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Name Game

I'm distracted today by sparkly new idea. I think I'm finally going to cave and start it--not that I really need another book in the works, but I'm waiting for feedback from the EXPERTS OF AWESOME (aka my agent and editor) on everything else I'm working on. And not working on a project gives me the twitches.

So. New project.

Unfortunately, my main character doesn't have a name, and I always have problems with this step. I can usually name the guys for some reason, but I struggle with naming female characters. Does this happen to anybody else, or is it just me?

Here's my issue--most of the really good girl names are already taken, either by people I know too well or by MCs in really well known books, and somehow I think if I named my girl Katniss or Tally, I'd suffer in comparison. And I can't do bad things to a character named after a friend's baby, because friend will inevitably read and apply for a restraining order. (True story--I had a great idea for a twin book during which lots of Bad Things happened. And then I had twins. I will never write that story, because I know my girls will read it and wonder which one of them I want to be murdered.)

So...I'm now trolling for random girl names. Got any good ones in your back pocket?

14 comments:

Charissa Weaks said...

Ava, Bree, Carra :), Dennie, Elle, Flynne, Gabbie, Hannah, Izzi, Jules, Kristin, Lara, M'Lynne, Nora, Ollie...Do you want me to keep going?? ;)

kit said...

http://www.20000-names.com/

they have every female name imaginable in every language and spieces (angel name, elf name etc)

Mariah Irvin said...

For me it depend largely on the genre, but then where she lives, what her parents are like, and what her attitude towards it will be. Yeah, I'm one of those people. Like Kit, I think you should just get on a site and shout out random names till you find one that fit :)

loganeturner.com said...

Names are the worst. I agonize over them. And then I write a manuscript and a book comes out that uses some or all of those names. Blurg.

Kelly J. said...

I'm waiting for a good, non-ditzy, non-blond Kelly. But that's for totally selfish reasons.

Celeste, Ruth, Charlie (my FAVORITE nickname for Charlotte), Britt....

Mine are all boring :)

SlayerOfBees said...

I still like the name Camille (nickname Cammie for a little girl." :P

It is NOT an adult entertainment stage name.

There. I said it. :)

abby mumford said...

provided the girl character isn't an axe murderer, you can have abby.

aw hell, you can have it even if the main character is a crazy nut job. it'd just be non-fiction then.

Jessica said...

Hmmm... Alyx (short for Alyxandra), Callie, Daphne, Sophie, Chloe, Brynne...

Noelle said...

Noelle. :)

Kelly J. said...

I will tell you to avoid Xander/Ty/Xanda! I've seen it a million times.

Kendall is another good one.

Claire Dawn said...

I've been thinking recently that I would really like to give a stereotypical name to someone not from that stereotype.

Like a blond called Shaniqua or La'sonta. Or a black girl from the ghetto called Mary-Louise.

I think it's fun to make a name a plot point. Character hates or loves it or people always spell it wrong or noone can pronounce it.

Sarah said...

I like to do really "normal" names, and often, as I'm writing, one just pops out. Kate. Laurie. Jenn.

Or, a name from the character's heritage.

A friend of mine always names characters after her nieces and nephews. A potential weird factor, but that's that.

Scillius Maximus said...

I know for a while girls were being named after dead presidents and authors i.e Madison,Emerson etc

erica and christy said...

I like Scillius' idea (and not just because my male mc is named Lincoln - er, okay, maybe that's why).

As a teacher, I've seen a huge trend of names ending with -en, -on, -in, -ine, -ynn, etc.

Many variations of spelling notwithstanding, Madison, Madeline, Jayden, Afton, Caryn.

Also older names are coming back: Evelyn, Cora, Olivia.

Good luck!
erica