The Drain of the Name Game…

How on earth does one come up with suitable character names? I absolutely LOVE the name of my main character, Lyla Kyle, and that just came to me, kinda. Well, mostly because I liked the character of the same first name on one season of Dexter. I thought it would work because both ladies have long, dark hair and psych problems. (That doesn’t consitute plagiarism, does it?) Her last name came out of nowhere though. I just thought it had a nice ring to it. It does, I’m sure of it.

As for the cops in my book, I just pulled those names out of thin air. *Pluck*  Jason Brighthouse. *Pluck* Byron Blakely. Tada!

The psychologist, Jillian Atford, is patterned after one of my good friends (who recently passed away, thus propelling me to finish writing my book), so their names are similar.

The medical examiner? LeeAnn DiCicco. I reached deep for that. I gave her the exact same name as that of my 6th grade math teacher. I remember getting in trouble for doodling a picture of a personified rat and titling it: Mrs DiCicco as a Bitchy Rat. Haha! … my folks didn’t find it funny. But, you can see why her name stuck with me.

But, while I was writing my most recent chapter (which I finished revising today, I might add–Go ME!), I had the hardest time coming up with names for inconsequential characters: fleeting characters that mean nothing and are only there to help flesh out the pasts of the main characters. You would think it wouldn’t matter, but I find myself saying, “I already have characters whose names start with a B” and “I can’t have a character whose name ends in an A like Lyla’s!”


By the way, I’m still lacking a sufficient name for Lyla’s mother and resigned to calling her “Mrs Kyle” throughout the entire chapter. Be that as it may, I’m open to any and all suggestions…

9 thoughts on “The Drain of the Name Game…

  1. I write fantasy so my characters tend to have unusual names. But even with that being the case, I find baby name books really useful for this. You can just flip through, see if anything catches your eye. Even if you find one and don’t use it for the character currently in question, you can hang onto it for later.

  2. One of my character’s is named Booger. A lot of times I’ll suddenly add in a character and come up with the name on the fly, but my main characters’ names I actually thought about.

  3. I have no idea how I come up with character names but they seem to just pop out of nowhere. Of course I do spend a little more time coming up with the main character’s name.

    Sounds like you have quite a few characters in your book, so I understand how that can be tricky. I do like the baby names idea.

  4. Spooky!!!!

    I’ve just been working on a post that was intended for tomorrow about naming characters lol.

    It’s so hard isn’t it 😦 I recently read another writers work where the dog was called Taylor and the baby, Tyler!!! As you can imagine, VERY confusing 😦


    • I just read you post, so helpful! I especially appreciated the part about not having characters’ names start with the same letter. My husband made fun of that part of my post. He can be an “arse.” Ur in the UK, right? That was for you ; )

  5. Pingback: The Naming Game | The View Outside

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