Wednesday, April 16, 2014

No Pain, No Gain

Welcome to the A to Z challenge - Never say Never!

A to Z Writing advice:
Names – one of my favorite things to brainstorm! Names of people and posts are fun to create. Names of places I'm not as good at. I try to use character names that don't start with the same letter, unless they are related, to help the reader distinguish between them. Sometimes I use names of people I know, other times I just come up with what suits the character's personality. And when I need an ethnic name I turn to the internet. How do you come up with names?

Visiting BROKEN BRANCH FALLS (MG Fantasy):
Nuts - these are found a lot in BBF, some bigger than others, and some used as weapons!




And for laughs:
An alphabetical list of Reasons Men are Happier People... 

N is for Natural
Men wake up as good-looking as they went to bed.
Women somehow deteriorate during the night.


NO! That's NOT all!
You know what? We need an award! You've made it half-way thru the A to Z challenge, so you deserve it! Take the badge, post it, and pass it on!


29 comments:

Suzi said...

If a character name hasn't jumped out at me right away, which it usually does, I'll go to a name website.

Usually it's jut what seems to be a good fit. I don't think about meanings of names or anything like that.

I try to avoid the same letter name too.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

My system is pretty much the same as Suzi's.

Whenever I come across a name or even a different kind of word - these days, anything can be a name! - I make a note. There are scraps of paper all over my house with names and random words jotted on them. :)

Madeline @ The Shellshank Redemption
Minion, Capt. Alex's Ninja Minion Army
The 2014 Blogging from A-Z Challenge

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Halfway and we're still going strong!
I usually take thirty minutes, brainstorm a bunch of unique but simple alien sounding names, and then match them to the characters. Simple!

Sophie Duncan said...

Names can be a fun, or nightmarish - I once had to change the name of a character three times because the first one I thought of and really liked turned out to be the same name as a similar character in a supernatural series I'd never read or watched, the second made my beat reader curl up in fits of giggles, the third I was told made him sound like a girl and so the fourth one finally stuck!
Sophie
Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles - A to Z Ghosts
Fantasy Boys XXX - A to Z Drabblerotic

Sarah Foster said...

Sometimes character's names just pop into my head randomly, so I assume the characters are naming themselves. :)

Robin said...

Names. I don't mind people names so much, but places. Ugghh. I don't have a good system. I think I will start writing down in my purse notebook any names I come across that I think are reusable. Great idea!

Claudia H. Blanton said...

I love the idea of a midway award, after all we did stick with it didn't we! Love how visual your blog is, I am looking forward to digging deeper, have a great day!

P V Ariel said...

Hi Tara,
Time is just running away and we have made it half-way thru the A to Z :-)
Great Going Tara.
Happy Blogging Ahead :-)
Thanks for visiting my page
~ Phil

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Men do wake up looking good. Even their hair gets messed up cute. I struggle with names for characters and often change them in the second draft. Yahoo for halfway.

Fifi Islaih said...

Most of my characters are Arab so I have lists with the names' meanings and look for the one that fits the characters personality.

cleemckenzie said...

I hate that part of being female. I always wake up looking like I just came out of months of hibernation.

Great advice about naming. I sometimes get stuck on a letter and every character is suddenly Bill, Bailey, Barbara or Brad! Arrrg!

Rena said...

Naming, ha! I'm terrible at naming. I used to think that if it was fantasy, you just throw an apostrophe in there and viola! a fantasy name (I'm letting my McCaffrey show). Now, I try really hard to figure out what's appropriate. Sometimes, I try to make a name an onomatopoeia.

Mark Means said...

I like combining names of people I already know....a first name from one friend, the last from another.

Totally agree on the award, too! :)

Carrie-Anne said...

I run towards classical eccentric and classical unusual names, and tend to give the more popular, common, or trendy names to secondary or minor characters. Even with characters from non-English-speaking cultures, I still tend towards less-common names. Fewer things date a book faster than it being gut-loaded with Top 100 names. I've found some awesome Russian-language name sites as well, along with sites for Armenian, Georgian, Belarusian, and Ukrainian names.

Masked Mom said...

I write mostly nonfiction now, but when I was in high school, I wrote lots of (probably horrible) short stories and I actually bought a baby name book to use for naming characters. Imagine how excited my mother was to see a baby name book on the pile of stuff in my room. ;) (I also used to like to use the phone book, which might be a hint as to how old I am since phone books are an endangered species if not already extinct.)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Most of my characters came pre-named and many of them with Biblical names.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I have a system for tough to name characters...the next name that is mentioned on TV wins.

*This system is often faulty and I have to then go to the baby name book and start over ;)

randi lee said...

I'm not the "give your character a symbolic name" type...so I sort of just go with what I like and what seems to "fit" for the character's personality. I do agree--thinking up names is super fun!

Aditi said...

Didn't focus much on names...well, not until now! ;) I still have to write my N post, but this badge makes me feel so much better! Yay! Aditi, dropping from A2Z

Melanie Stanford said...

I go to the internet too for names, especially for ethnic ones. I also have a baby name book close by just in case!

mylifelivedfull said...

I had enough difficulty giving my kids names - I can't imagine trying to name fictional characters as well :)

Shelley Sly said...

I love naming characters! It's one of my favorite parts of the writing process.

Broken Branch Falls sounds like a fun book (from what I've gathered after catching up on some previous posts.) I love MG and look forward to when it releases. :)

M Pax said...

A lot of names are invented from things sitting on my desk at the time. Some names comes fully formed. I don't know why. I think it's the pushier characters who do that.

I deteriorate by the minute. lol

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi, Tara...

YOU ARE AWESOME!!! How sweet of you to design a badge just for the halfway mark...

You're so right it is something to be celebrated. The second half of the alphabet is SOOO much harder. LOL..

I've been crazed, I'll get back to you really soon about what I can do for you launch!

Trisha F said...

Aw, nuts!

I love nuts :)

Kimberly said...

When I have a hard time figuring out names, I also hit the the baby name book or the web. :)

I can't believe A to Z is halfway over.

Sheena-kay Graham said...

My idea generating mind usually comes up with most of the names (person and place) quite easily. Some of my fave place names include Happy Fate and Monster City. Go Nuts! Yes I went there.

It's the hair. Nice and smooth during the day. You wake up looking like you lost a fight with an angry squirrel.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tara - the badge is great .. and half-way through .. the trouble is as soon as I wake up yet again with more lines another letter has passed me by ...

Names - thankfully I don't need to worry about them usually .. but sometimes in stories I really don't like the name - it doesn't fit for me .. puts me off!

Cheers Hilary

David G. Shrock said...

Avoid names starting with the same letter is good advice. Not just stories, I've seen the pitfalls of naming several objects in programming with the same first letter, or worse the same first name, leading to reading confusion.