One of the most difficult tasks I do as a writer is naming characters. I think in order to make a character more realistic, he needs to have the right name. I feel like when we listen to our characters, they’ll let us know their names. The same way in what we name our children. Something in our conscience tells us that the name feels right. It’s kind of instinctive.
At the same time, what we name our characters depends on the genre of literature. As such, there is some research involved when naming our characters. For instance, historical fiction characters are going to be more rigid than those of contemporary fiction. In the same respect, characters are speculative fiction are going to have more room for creativity.
When it comes to creating names, I try to pay attention to what’s out there in my everyday life. Whether I’m at work or vegging out, I try to keep my eye out for combinations that speak to me; combinations that sound unique or common names that make for interesting pairings. On my Pinterest board, I have pins that have names from specific time frames or nationalities. I make note of the ones that speak to me the most.
Like I said, naming characters is not an exact science, but I find it to be fun.
What say you? Is naming characters easy or difficult? How do you come up with character names?