I have started the preliminary outline for my next series, PARADIGM. Starting a new story is one of my favorite "jobs" as a writer. To get to pick a location and create a setting, to take a character and give it a name, a physical description, a personality, strengths and weaknesses ... the conception of a new, alternate world is so thoroughly enjoyable for me.
Except for one small part of it ... I am out of names.
Recently on my Facebook page, I asked my friends to help me out by offering up some of their favorite male and female names. They listed some great ones, but there's so much more to picking a name than just saying, "Oh, I like that."
1. Where does the name come from?
2. What does the name mean?
3. What/who do I think of when I hear it?
4. Does it phonetically go with the character, the characters family and his/her surname?
5. Are there psychological, social, philosophical or historical facts that go with the name?
Let's look at Chandler Tyler. Those of you who have read my book know who Chandler is. He's Brynn's ex-boyfriend and like her, he changes a great deal from what he was like at the beginning of the story to the end of it. When I created his character, I struggled to find the right name for him. He's big, quiet, ruggedly handsome, kind, and at times, selfish. I looked over my many lists of potential names and scoured my favorite name site until I saw Chandler.
1. The origin of the name is English. Perfect for Chandler - there's not much cultural diversity to him, much like a good, sturdy English name.
2. The meaning of the name is Candle Maker. Again, perfect - considering what Chandler ends up doing for a living.
3. When I first considered the name I thought big, dumb athlete - just like Brynn initially sees him. But I also thought cute, nice and pleasant.
4. Yes, it sounds like his parents saw him as Chandler when he was born.
5. I wasn't about to name him Angus or Lennie. And to quote myself, "I haven't watched any episodes of Friends, so no. I didn't get his name from that Chandler."
I have to say, Chandler is one of my favorite regular characters in THE TRAIT SERIES. He truly loves Brynn and for that, I can't help but to love him in return. I think his name fits him well.
So, as I begin another series, so begins the search for the perfect names for my main characters. I've used so many names, on the average between 50 - 80 per three books series, my lists grown thin. Naming the main characters, and some of the recurring secondary characters like Chandler, is sadly becoming a struggle rather than an enjoyment.
Kristin ("Christian", German origin)