How to Find the Right Character Names \\ Writing with Marrill 002

A character’s name can literally make or break a story.

Of course, a good name can’t guarantee you have a decent story, but a bad name could make a reader want to throw your book into Tartarus.

No pressure or anything.

I also know that it can be hard to write about a character that you can’t find a proper name for. So today my post is about…

A) Some tips for finding a good name and B) a few pieces of advice as to how to not annoy the reader. Both of these are essential (in my very unprofessional opinion).

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Finding the Name

1) The right letter

If you have any idea what your character is like, this shouldn’t be too hard. Do you want their name to have a harsh sound? Try names like Tristan or Krysta or Astrid. Or do you want their name to have a softer sound? Like Celeana, Rowan or Annabeth (hint: names that end in A usually sound softer).

Another way to do this is to find a letter you know you want the name to start with. If you like names that start with M, then you’ve got a place to start.

If you don’t do one of these, it can be overwhelming to look for names.

 

2) Name Generators

Some of these work about as well as a teapot would. But there are some decent ones out there as well! I use these on occasion, although mostly for places\settings rather than for character names. They also work great at jump-starting your ideas.

 

3) Google

I’m going to be honest: most of my name searches start with a google search something like “Girls names that start with [insert letter from step one]”. It’s convenient! And it also helps if you’re looking for more ethnic names. At the very least, it gives you a place to start.

 

4) Real-life inspiration

I’m not one to use the names of people I know for my main characters. A cameo? I might throw it in for fun. But if the character appears more than twice, I can’t use anyone I personally know.

BUT this doesn’t apply (for me) to internet friends\people I follow. More than once I’ve seen someone say “I wish I saw more character with my name” and so I write down the name somewhere (screenshots also work) and I’d say 8\10 times this is an easy and effective solution.

 

5) Literally just put letters together

This one can happen by accident, but if nothing else works then just pick a word and replace some of the letters with, like, and X or add an A on the end and it usually makes a pretty cool name.


Remember the Readers…

Please don’t write names that are pronounced totally different than how they’re spelled. It makes it hard to remember and also it’s just plain confusing.

Pronunciation guides save lives! If you have any control over this, then I promise the reader will be thanking you profusely.

For both your sake and the sake of the reader, try not to use names of already beloved characters. For two reasons:

ONE, these names are often already overused. And TWO, the reader already has fond memories attached to this character. So if you use it, you’ll probably just be reminding the reader of a DIFFERENT book, which is beside the point.

Of course, most names are fine. But I would avoid 99% of what’s in the Harry Potter series, and also the name Simon because that one seems to just come up everywhere. Also Emma.

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What are some of your favorite character names? What’s your way of finding the names for your characters?

-Marrill

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How to find the right Point Of View (POV) \\ Writing with Marrill 001

Hello Book Ravens! 

Starting a story is hard. There’s no way to really get around it; in order to write a story, you have to start somewhere. Including, but not limited to, finding the right point of view.

I know a lot of my writer friends don’t stress about this – they usually choose which POV they prefer – but for me, it’s an essential part of the story and not so easy to figure it out.

I’m assuming some of you agree, so I have for you all a list of different POV options and how to decide which fits your story juuuuust write (get it? Write? Like right?).

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Talking About Your Own Books Online \\ Writing Discussion

Talkingaboutmybooksonline

Hello Book Ravens!

So Camp NaNoWriMo is coming up in April, and I plan to participate. 

NaNoWriMo always gets me excited because everyone talks about it, and I love hearing about others stories! Fantasy, contemporary, magical realism, unknown, etc. I always get so excited about other writers!

But I also feel kind of cut off from it, because I don’t talk about my writing. Not that I don’t want to! I do love talking about it! I’m just a bit paranoid.

So let’s talk about that.

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January Writing Playlist \\ 2018

Hello Book Ravens!

My January Writing Wrap-Up came out earlier this week, and I promise I’d do a January writing playlist…maybe every month?

So, true to my word*, my last post of the month will be a playlist! Like I said in my other post, January was a thinking month for me, which means a lot of ideas, half-formed stories and random dramatic scenes that I have no idea how they connect to my story.

Also plenty of new artists and songs. And damn, I’ve found some incredible music!

*for now

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Writing Wrap-Up \\ January 2018

Hello Book Ravens!

2018 will finally be the year of writing. Whether or not I finish any of my ideas is irrelevant – I at least want to write more than last year.

I figured a good way to track my progress would be to do a monthly wrap-up, and I’m actually more excited to do this than I thought I’d be! Feel free to track your progress with me and tell me where you are in your writing! I love hearing other writers’ stories! 

I also have another post going up on Wednesday or Friday which is my January writing playlist. I love doing playlists, and I found some really cool songs that are perfect for writing!

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2017 NaNoWriMo Playlist

I HAVE A NANOWRIMO STORY IDEA!

Before November started, I was panicking. We were five days away from starting and I had nothing – no characters, no storyline, nowhere to start.

Literally the first time that’s happened since, like, December last year 🙄

 

Anyway, I almost always write to music, as it helps me block people\places\general freaking distractions out of my mental space. I’m no good with aesthetics, but I do enjoy creating a scene with music.

And I’ve found some really good music – most of which is new to me – for my novel!

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My Favorite Writing Videos

This may come as a surprise to you, but I don’t really like videos about writing, specifically.

I find it so boring to watch a video specifically about how to write. I know how to do that, I want to learn something I may not know! Or, more accurately, how someone else’s writing process works.

 

Which is essentially what these videos are. They do teach you things about writing, but it’s more about the personality of who’s speaking, and how they see it.

 

Trust me, these videos are better than I’m making them sound. Let’s get started!

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