Beer Bread and Character Names

Weekends are slow during NaNo, at least for me. I typed up all my words but haven't written any new ones, either yesterday or today. Distractions abound as well - for instance, would you like to play Mad Libs with your characters? Do so here!

I did wake up with a Brilliant Idea for shaking up the beginning of the novel, but the lack of words was getting me down - I'm only 3,000 away from completing NaNo early after all - so in order to feel like I'd accomplished at least one thing today, I baked Kait's yogourt beer muffins (meanwhile, part 17 of Forsaken by Shadow is up!), which turned out very yummy, and was the easiest recipe I've followed in a long time.

Also, I've been thinking of character names again. I originally blogged about this back in 2008, where I was discussing the characters in my middle grade story The Face of A Lion.

Even after all that, however, I'd never found a surname for the main character Austin. A couple of months ago, however, he was knighted by Charles II during one of our Writers' Forum Houseparties, and I 'discovered' his full name, seeking a Welsh name that was old enough and related in some way to his family - Austin Alan Cunnick. Sir Austin to you!

As for the current wip Out of the Water, Rosa has had her name from the start, but I've had to hunt for her middle name and surnames, from both her adoptive family and her real parents. This site, of 15th Century Spanish names, has been invaluable. Her middle name is Magdalena, after her real mother; her surname from her real father is Romero - meaning pilgrim, very apt when you consider all her journeys - and her surname from her adoptive family is de Toledo, since the family is from that city.

I took Brother Arcturus' name from the novel Voyage to Arcturus, but then I had to define why he chose that name when he entered the monastery - and I still haven't quite found out what his real name is.

And then there's Rosa's lover and husband... I needed a Turkish name that wasn't difficult to pronounce, that was short and matched Rosa's name, in terms of sounds and syllables. So I took one from my own family, and only later did I realise I'd taken the name of a relative who'd married someone named Rose.

Some of the other names come from my research books, others haven't been chosen at all. I still have a Captain X and a Senora Y wandering the pages of the novel.

Where do your characters' names come from?


oh wow Deniz u are almost done with Nano!
I always choose my names way b4 I start, thinks could get confusing for me if i have a Senora Y floating about.
Mary Mary said…
In my first book, which deals with slavery, I used a lot of Biblical names since that was the trend with slave owners and their slaves. In my second book I went with Jo -- short for Josephine -- because it takes place during the 1920s, a time when women had more boyish figures and styles of dress. They liked short, fashionable names to match the style.

I guess in all, it really comes from the time period and who the character is supposed to be.
Talli Roland said…
Real life. :) Like your name! Although that was somewhat a coincidence.

I usually think of former students, then mash their names together.
red-handed said…
History. History has the best names, buried in the back pages of the best-known stories.
Deniz Bevan said…
Thanks for weighing in everyone! I can't wait till I'm done with the first draft, then I get to have a fun day or two finding names for all the people currently called X Y Z...

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