I’m at that stage in novel planning where I’m trying to find the “perfect” names for my characters.
As always, it’s a painful process.
I’m very picky on my character’s names–they have to feel right and mean something, and at the same time, not be ridiculously hard to pronounce (thanks to choosing different cultures to set my stories in). I always come up with large lists first, of dozens upon dozens of names. That way, if I need to go back and find a name for some obscure character, there’s a list already available. But choosing which names to give the important characters is incredibly difficult.
Sometimes, the first name I find, it sticks. For example, my male MC in my last book, Ryuji–the moment I saw the name and its meaning, it clicked. However, my MC’s name was a little harder to find. I originally had one name, then discovered it wasn’t one that was used at all really, except after death (and those names were generally reserved for royalty). But then I found Naomi and saw that it was both a Japanese and Western name, which is perfect for my Japanese-American character.
This new novel however, is proving to be a little more challenging. I found a few names that might be “the one” for my MC and it’s hard to decide. I have a feeling I’ll probably start using one name and then switch during the course of the book to see which one works better. I’ve done that before too.
So, how do you go about creating names? Are you as picky and detailed about it as I am or do you wait for the name to just come to you?