On the Naming of Characters

Over the weekend, fellow writer and blogger T.S. Bazelli posted to her blog a little piece about her process for naming characters.  I was going to respond to her blog with a comment of my own, but after I’d passed the 200-word mark in my comment, I realized I had a full-fledged blog post of my own on the topic waiting to be written.  And so, I now provide to all of my blog readers my own thoughts and remarks on the trials and travails of naming characters, for the edification of all.

Sometimes names for characters come easily, sometimes they are very hard.  This can be of some concern for me, because of a particular writing penchant of mine: a character is his or her name.  Without a name, I don’t feel connected enough to a character to write definitively or authoritatively about that character.  I can pen vague notes and ideas – but I can’t say for sure who a character is or what he or she will do.  And if I can’t do that, I can’t plot a novel or story – and I sure-as-sugar can’t write it.  This was of particular concern to me last week, as I started to write about the second of two protagonists on my current novel project, “The Book of M”.  Continue reading