Thanks for joining me again this week.
Naming characters is one of my favorite things about writing. And yet, it can still be challenging, and even impossible, sometimes.
How do we know if our name ideas are any good? Are they too typical? Will they convey our feelings for the character and story we want them to?
Whenever I feel overwhelmed by these thoughts I turn to a post I saw on Pinterest.
In that post, the user had just stumbled upon an epiphany regarding some of the names J.K. Rowling, the famous author of the equally famous series Harry Potter, chose for her fictional world.
Their epiphany led me to an epiphany of my own.
My epiphany was: Maybe we shouldn't take creating character names so seriously.
"What," I hear you say. "But just weeks ago you were telling us how important they are."
And I still think that. Choosing the right name for our characters is very important, at least in my opinion.
My point isn't that we shouldn't want, and work for, awesome names for our characters. It's that maybe awesome names can be found right under our noses if we just have the proper mindset to see them.
Let's look at J.K. Rowling.
(Quick confession here: I've never actually read Harry Potter. I know, I know, shocking, right? Still, it's obvious how much creativity J.K. Rowling used when creating those books, even with the limited knowledge I have of the series.)
The first name we're going to take a look at is Diagon Alley.
If we take the space out and make it one word we see what might have inspired J.K. to use this particular name.
Diagon Alley becomes Diagonally.
Let's take a look at another: Nocturn Alley.
Knocturn Alley becomes Nocturnally. Or more likely the word nocturnally became the fictional Knocturn Alley.
It's important to note that none of the names shown in this post were character names, but instead, they were the names chosen for the streets the characters visited/lived on. However, I think the idea can just as easily be applied to character names.
For instance, doesn't Ally Nocturn sound like an amazing character name? It makes me want to grab a pen and paper and start her backstory even as I write this post. In fact, I think I'll do that as soon as I'm done here. ;)
The key is to keep an open mind about what a name can and can't be. We should remember that we have a tendency to dismiss cool names just because they don't seem like names at first glance.
Are there any names you dismissed at first that you now love? Do you have any funny stories about the ways you stumbled onto names for your characters? What's your favorite of J.K. Rowling's character names? I'd love to hear all about it in the comments!
Thanks for joining me this week. Next week I'll be posting the first Reference post of the year so check back in for that. As for me, I'm going to slip off and write Ally's story. :)
Note: As promised, this post is actually a re-write of one of my earlier works. If you are a newsletter and or blog subscriber you can use the password at the bottom of my emails to click on over to the (old) One Beginner to Another and compare the two for an added learning experience. (Here is a direct link to the post.) Why make mistakes if no one can learn from them? XD If you aren't a subscriber yet it's free to join. Just head to the Home page and fill out the sign up form at the bottom.