hile I haven’t started writing-writing my WIP, I am loosely writing scenes. And those scenes read like a math problem: X and Y were talking. Z enters. What’s the angle of the bottom left corner of the equilateral triangle*?
This is driving me nuts! I usually have my main characters’ names by now. And they usually just come to me. Julia was always Julia.
My first go-to name finder, when I need it for secondary characters, is the bookshelf. I check the spines for author names and plug in a right-sounding first or last name as needed and, voila!, character named.
I haven’t tried it yet for this WIP, but things are getting desperate. I might have to go further than just the bookshelf and even break out the yearbooks. Past classmates, beware!
The only time that I can remember really struggling with a main character’s name was in high school. I knew his last name: McDougal, but no first name sounded right with it. I turned to the bookshelf but it failed me.
It just so happened that this was at the time of the VCR. My dad, a huge University of Michigan football fan, asked me to tape a game for him. Why he didn’t program it, I don’t know. Destiny, probably (no, that’s not melodramatic).
I watched the game as I recorded it and my ears perked up when the announcers talked about the players. They kept talking about this guy named Kevin…so perfect! I was so excited that it took me a while to realize that the player’s name was actually Kevin McDougal. Destiny!
Despite the fact that he was on the opposing team and would lead his team to the win, I was giddy. I had a name!
I still had a crazy smirk on my face when my dad came home and asked how the game was. “OK,” I said, trying to play it cool. I knew he wanted to watch it and I didn’t want to ruin it, no matter how painful it was going to be to watch. Unfortunately, he saw me smiling, smiled back and said “Oh, that good?” Ug. I didn’t bother to correct him because, well, parents just don’t understand.
I have at least one male and one female protag to name. Which sporting events should I be watching? Or any naming secrets you’d like to share?
*The answer: 60 degrees