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Friday, March 22, 2013

Names For Characters

I devised a system a while back that I use for coming up with names for characters in my books.  I use names from people I connect with on-line through social media sites.  Not the peoples names directly as I find them on the different sites but I put the names in cells in a spread sheet so they can be manipulated and re-arranged.  Then I put first and last names together at random until I find a name I like for a particular character.

Even as random as this system appears to be, I am sure that I come up with names which match the names of real people somewhere.  Many years ago and what feels like a different life time ago I was a clown (Hobo) with the Red Cross Clown Corps.  In doing so we needed to make up names for our clown characters.  I drew a lot when I was younger and had several cartoon characters I had come up with and made several cartoon pictures with these characters.  One was a duck and the other ‘Elsworth’ the Dragon.  So I came up with Hobi Duckworth as my clown name and for the next couple of years when I was performing people kept asking me if I was related to this bunch of Duckworth’s or that bunch of Duckworth’s.  I realized back then that no matter what name you dream up for yourself somebody probably already has that name or something very close to it.

So if I have followed you on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or some other social media site your name is probably in my homemade data base for names for me to mix and match.  Sooner or later part of your name may end up in one of my books as one of my characters.

I was presented with a sweatshirt from one of the ladies of my book club who was responsible for me actually taking the plunge and trying my hand at becoming a novelist.  The sweatshirt says on the front of it, “Be careful, you may end up in one of my novels.”


J.L. Murphey said...

I've got the t-shirt.

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