Tuesday, December 6, 2016

By Any Other Name? by @Kellie_Doherty

by Kellie Doherty

Naming a character can be difficult. A character’s name—especially a main character—has to be special, not too weird as to be unrecognizable or unreadable but unique enough to be remembered. The name can have some historical symbolism, character trait, or hidden greatness to be revealed at a later date. The point is, naming a character is an important aspect of writing. So, where in the galaxy do you start? Here are four quick tips to help you pick the perfect name for any character: 

  1. Check out ancient names—Greek, Roman, Latin—and twist it a bit. Adria, a Latin name, could be twisted to Adrix, Advia, Adraian, etc. Alternatively, if you have a specific aspect of your character in mind, look up those aspects and use names from ancient languages connected to them. (Example: Your character is connected to wind—use the name Aella or “whirlwind” from the Greek myths.
  2. You could also go to your local cemetery for inspiration! It may feel a little weird, but there are already some beautiful names out there. Why not take advantage of that? Writing down the ones you like is a good way to build a list.
  3. Speaking of lists, compile the names you like, including ones you’ve seen in books, come across in your research, and come up with yourself. Having a list of names in an organized, easily accessed location—in a journal, on your phone, on a Word doc—makes it easy to mix and match them until you find the perfect name for your character.
  4. Lastly, this is science fiction—don’t be afraid to add some flair to your character names. Add that extra v or x, put double vowels, have a super complex name then shorten it to a nickname. Granted you can do this with fantasy, too, but in science fiction we have the opportunity to create names that are out of this world (pun intended)! 
  5.  Bonus Tip: Don’t be afraid to change your character’s name. If you don’t like how it sounds anymore, feel free to tweak it a little or change it completely. Above all else you have to like your character names. You’ll be spending a lot of time with these folks after all.

So while it can be daunting, it’s also fun to pick out names. You’re going to go on an adventure with these characters. Give them names to be proud of! And remember, getting to know your character name is one step closer to getting to know your character as a whole. Happy writing!

{Disclaimer: The views expressed are solely those of this author and not the SFR Brigade.}

Author Bio:
Kellie Doherty has a masters in Book Publishing from Portland State University and a bachelors in English Literature from the University of Alaska Anchorage. Her first book Finding Hekate was published by Desert Palm Press in April 2016. She's currently in the editing phase of the sequel, Losing Hold, and writing the first book of a new fantasy series. Her work has also been featured in Flight (Mischief Corner Books, 2016), 49 Writers Alaska Shorts, Pathos Literary Magazine, F Magazine, and Alaska Women Speak. You can find out more at www.kelliedoherty.com. 

Mia Foley is running away from the attack that changed her life. She’s captain of a new spaceship when the Acedians find her and try blasting her peaceful crew from the black. She must sever her bonds in order to run, again. But she’s grown fond of this crew, particularly Cassidy Gates. Staying with them will jeopardize their safety, and they have much closer fears than the Acedian hunters. Mia’s time is running out. She’s becoming one of them.

Link to Buy Finding Hekate:

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