I have two children. When my husband and I decided we were not planning to have any more children (we love them to pieces, but there are only two of us and we DON’T want to be outnumbered!), I willingly loaned my baby name book to my sister-in-law, who was still on the baby train. Worst mistake I ever made! Baby name books are fabulous resources for finding character names. I would have asked for the book back, but, well, that would have been awkward. See, back then, no one knew I was writing books and I wanted to keep it that way until I was published. Therefore, I couldn’t explain my real reason for asking for the book back. That would leave me with only one reason—I was having another baby. Can you imagine the talk around my family THAT would have created?
So, I needed to find another option. What I ended up doing was using online baby name sites and I have to say, I love them. They’re so much easier to use than books and you can do all kinds of searches. For example, my first book required names with specific meanings. I needed a man’s name that showed strength and a woman’s name that showed grace, without weakness. I ended up with Gideon for the hero (which means mighty warrior) and Lily for the heroine (which is a flower). They were perfect.
My current WIP (or at least, one of them), is a multi-generational story that takes place in Poland in the early 1900s. The story eventually moves to America and I need Polish names that can be modernized as the time passes. Again, the website was great, because I was able to do a search by nationality. After a lot of playing around, I ended up with Matteus and Magda for the earliest generation. I still have some playing around to do, and I’m not sure what the other generational names will be, but at least it’s a start.
How do you name your characters?