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Road Trip Wednesday #4 Naming Your Characters

Welcome to our fourth Road Trip Wednesday!

Road Trip Wednesday is a "Blog Carnival", where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing or reading-related question and answer it in on our own blogs. You can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.

You're more than welcome to participate! Just answer the question/topic on your own blog, and leave a link to it in the comments.

Topic #4: How do you name your characters?

Michelle Schusterman: must be named before writing can commence . . .

Leila Austin: Finding The One can be hard . . .

Lee Bross: They typically introduce themselves when I'm in the shower . . .

Amanda Hannah: I still want names that just feel right . . .

Kirsten Hubbard: Names have such significance . . .

Kristin Miller: personality, story, setting, meaning, heritage . . .

Kaitlin Ward: It can be either really simple, or really complicated . . .

Road Trip song of the week:
"What's Your Name" Lynyrd Skynyrd
Amanda Hannah

Amanda grew up on a big farm in a small town with one stoplight, one school, and a handful of imaginary friends.She would’ve gone to college forever, but eight years and five majors tested her advisor’s patience. So she moved to Germany to explore creepy castles before landing in Spain where she’s perfecting her Flamenco.

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  1. I have to have names before I can start. I love having the names symbolize something in the story or relate back to the story in some way!

  2. I like to use names that are a bit out of the ordinary, but not so unusual they sound contrived.

    I typically think about what my characters are like and if a name doesn't come to me right way, I will literally run through scores of names in my head, considering the *feeling* I get from the various people I've known over the years with that same name.

    If it still feels right, I go with it.

    For my main characters I work a bit harder. I look for names that have a deeper meaning in literature or ancient culture. I've been gone a few rounds with a number of baby name books to generate ideas. The main character of the WIP I Haiku’d about (did I just invent a word???) is named Connor, which means 'high desire'. I like that name because it fits his personality and because it's not as common a name as say, oh I don't know . . . John. :)

  3. I played :) Awesome question!

  4. I played, too. It's up right now, so please feel free to take a look. This one was fun.

  5. I didn't play this week - but the verification word I had to type for my last comment (in the post about POV) was 'lepotia'. I mean... maybe I should just start using verification words as last names? haha

  6. I played too! The short version of my answer is that I change my characters' names all the time, it's part of how I get to know them. Love this chain post!

    @ Sara - I love those verification words too!

  7. Sometimes they just pop into my head. Or, I think about what type of person it is. Like example: A flirty girl who is boy crazy I think would be named Cassandra, because last time I checked Cassandra meant one who entangles with men. (or something like that!!!)

  8. It takes me a while. Sometimes I switch names around (especially for guys) I try and think of something that fits their personality. Such as Hannah automatically seems like a quiet girl name for me, since I also know a quiet girl named Hannah it helps.


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Item Reviewed: Road Trip Wednesday #4 Naming Your Characters Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Amanda Hannah