Name Games

To follow up on my previous post, anyone who has ever written fiction can agree that naming characters so that the results are believable and convey everything you want a name to convey is…hard. It’s like naming your children, if you somehow already knew everything about them and were trying to come up with the perfect label for all that awesome. Also, if you weren’t hemmed in by your partner’s preference, family requirements, and social convention. But I digress.

One of my favorite resources is Baby Center, which has a tool to display other “similar” names. This is great if you’re like me and the process of naming characters goes something like this.

“What would a WASP name her son? You know, something like Bradley but not?”

Which is how I ended up naming the hero in the manuscript I’m finishing now Parker.

The Social Security Administration database is good too, particularly if you want to find the top names from a specific decade. Before 1900, I also like this site, which uses data that SSA doesn’t have online.

And we’re halfway through NaNoWriMo and I’m at 21,889 words. Still just a bit behind but I’ve made up some of the ground I lost when I had serious election fever. Bad planning on someone’s part, that was. John Adams, I’m looking at you.

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