Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Can you help me name my MC?


I have a problem. When I wrote Dreaming of Sleep - a flash fiction piece for Pill Hill Press's Daily Flash 2011 - in March last year, the MC's name, Myron, came to me as all names do - it just popped into my head. Don't ask me how it happens; it just does.

Flash-forward to October 2010 and I've decided to use the title, MC, and idea behind Dreaming of Sleep for my NaNoWriMo novel. I was confident and happy with the choice bar one thing - the name Myron. There were two reasons for my unhappiness. Firstly, I had not long finished reading Alex J. Cavanaugh's brilliant debut novel, CassaStar, and the lead was called Byron. Daft as it might seem, I didn't want my MC's name to be so similar. Secondly, Myron just doesn't fit the character that emerged from my 50,000 nano words - a 21st Century astronaut/time-traveller and romantic lead.

So, here I am four months later and I still haven't found another name. I'm not sure if I'm just procrastinating or if it's because the name is so important to me I'm putting myself under undue pressure.

Can you help me name my main character?

Any tips on breaking through the procrastination or even name suggestions would be gratefully received. I don't like to beg but I'm not ruling it out.

27 comments:

  1. Hm... well, when all else fails, I go to www.babynames.com or www.20000-names.com.

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  2. Character names are one of my biggest bugbears. I spent a long time on my Nano using terms like MC, brother, mother, etc because I just couldn't find names that worked.

    So I took a walk though the local cemetery and read gravestones. (the dates were right for that of course - you want something more futuristic) Try browsing Yellow Pages and see what company names you can find. One of them might grab you....

    Or take ordinary names and swap a few consonants around. Gives you things like Timor, Rogan, Garge, Ginn, etc.

    There's a guy on TV at the moment called Claudio. Poor bloke. Not much you can do with that!

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  3. Well, I really like the old celtic names like Alaric and Eadric and that kind of stuff. But I don't know your character so it's hard to name him. Maybe you should do a search for interesting names and just wait until something pops out at you.

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  4. Now that you've told us Myron It's hard to think of another. We need more character traits, to conjure up a name.
    Off the top of my head, how about Jax? :O)

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  5. You could think of some adjectives that could be used to describe him, mix them up a bit and come up with something that sounds similar. e.g. rugged and a bit rash?... Rugrash! erm... maybe not. *goes back to old drawing board*

    Actually *comes back from old drawing board* maybe there's something in there - Ash? I quite like the idea of a short, snappy name like that.

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  6. Myron and Byron are both warm brown sounds to me. Maybe you could think of the sound the name makes, some FFFs or SSHH feeling could come with something new.

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  7. Why not do a post and tell us a little more about him. Like an interview, perhaps. It's hard to name a character when we don't know him. I have tons of names I've recorded for later use, but unless I know more about your guy, it's difficult to say.

    I've seen other bloggers hold a contest for suggestions on character names. The prize was merely an offer to acknowledge the winner in their book when it came out. You could do something like that and introduce him to us. :)

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  8. I like www.behindthename.com because it lets you search by meaning or origin - so if you want, say, a Celtic name or a Germanic name or a French name, you can find a list.

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  9. Hrm, now I'm stuck on Myron too. You could also try some name generators like Seventh Sanctum and see if something pops out at you.

    I like PK's idea about doing an interview. Might help to churn the idea mill.

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  10. It's so important to have "The Right Name" for a character but as a poet I wouldn't know where to start.
    Hope you fina an appropriate name.
    Yvonne.

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  11. I have a whole notebook of names to keep me stocked. I work around a ton of names so that helps. And if I'm really stumped, I search the web via name meanings and whatnot. Of course, I can't think of any names right now..

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  12. Samuel, Eric, Alan, T-Bone, Jeremy, Angus, Arthur, August...

    :)
    iZombie

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  13. There's Xander changed to something cooler like, Xan. Or you could go with the letter X until you come up with a name.

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  14. Er..... William... Shatner...?? Ok, maybe leave the Shatner bit! Kirk! Khaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan?!!

    Ok, ok, serious now!! Kirby! Edgar! Garrett!!!
    :-)

    GOOD LUCK!! Take care
    x

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  15. Awe, boo. Good luck! I like to just go to one of those baby name sites and read each name I like out loud to see how it fits. Maybe that can help?

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  16. I always read baby name websites, too! Hm... I've never named a futuristic character! Lauson? Karis? I'm afraid that's the best I can do!

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  17. The suggestion about the graveyard is a really good one. I do that sometimes. Or, if I'm stuck for an idea and it's too dark and sormy to go and lurk in a graveyard I sometimes peruse sites like imdb.com, just to get ideas. Any help?

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  18. I use baby name websites too! Something I've found helpful is to make a list of traits describing your character, and then use that list to search for names by their meanings (some sites have an advanced search option that lets you do this). Good luck!

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  19. Congrats on the February Fahrenheit award Ellie.

    I am rubbish at finding names, sorry!

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  20. BOAZ. Best. Name. Ever.

    And congrats on reaching your February W1S1 goals; well done!

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  21. I'm sorry!!!!! Don't let my character's name sideline you. Crap, now I feel bad...

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  22. I think it all depends on what TYPE of name you want. For instance, do you want sleepy names:

    Galen/Galan/Gaelan/Gaelen/Jalen (calm)
    Coy (quiet person)
    Tully (calmness)
    Ashling (dream, vision)

    Names referencing the fact he is a stranger to the time period:

    Dougal (dark stranger)
    Doyle (dark foreigner)
    Gale (stranger)
    Gershom (stranger)
    Wallace (stranger)
    Zenon/Xenon (stranger)

    Or do you want agressive names to suit the fact he can't sleep?

    Suhair (insomnia) [as cool as this one is its a girls name! sorry]
    Chad (battle, warrior)
    Caden (Fighter)
    Gomer (good fight)
    Kemp (fighter)

    Search meaning rather than name on this site for some more ideas:

    http://www.name-meanings.com/search.php

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  23. Interesting how Steven came up with sleepy names there because I was at the gym this morning and letting my mind wander (10 minutes on a treadmill can do that to you) and it suddenly occurred to me that you need sleep related names. First I came over all ironic and thought Morpheus, but I decided that was a bit too obvious and besides, brings in all kinds of questions that probably aren't addressed in the narrative. But what about Soper? (Soporific) Or Sumner? (somnambulist) Lassiter? (-tude) I stopped when I got to Anna Sthetic. I get light headed if I work out for too long! :)

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  24. You could use Chase ... that's an action name!

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  25. behindthename.com

    LOVE this site. Even if you don't have a specific name/meaning/or culture in mind, give it a go!

    Good luck :)

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  26. There's been a ton of good comments so far, so I'll just suggest you keep it simple and name him Bob or Joe. :)
    Good luck.

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  27. Steven has totally given you a great bunch of names there! And LOL at Alex. I'm going to download his book right now. I've been saying I will, but I haven't yet~

    Also, loved that snip from your Vegas serial killer story. Very cool~ :o) <3

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