Naming Process

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Westeford
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Naming Process

#1 Post by Westeford » Sun Dec 24, 2017 11:07 am

This is something I've always been weak at, naming things. I'm the kind of person that takes hours to name my character in an MMO. I'm getting really tired of pausing in my draft for hours only to name something. And there's a lot of things to name in my project: People, places, an island, an organization, a virus, etc.
So I was wondering, what kind of process do you guys use to make names? Is it random or is there some actual process that you use that you're willing to share?
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Re: Naming Process

#2 Post by Katy133 » Sun Dec 24, 2017 2:06 pm

I'm bad at coming up with naming characters too. Usually, I'll just label the characters by their occupation or something in the script and add their names last-minute, but I've also come up with ways to prepare for naming characters: I have a baby names book, which can be useful, and I've collected a list of names that I'd like to use for characters in the future.
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Ezmar
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Re: Naming Process

#3 Post by Ezmar » Mon Dec 25, 2017 2:02 am

I view it the same way as writing lyrics. I go mostly by sound. If it sounds right, it is right. I try to keep in mind the associations people might have with particular names, but also consider my own associations. For example, if someone is going to shout the character's name dramatically, I might like the name, but after Heavy Rain, nobody is going to be able to take it seriously if that character's name is Jason.

As for while I'm writing, I have a solid 13,000 words of script with placeholder names. FriendA, FriendB, ProtagA, etc. I'll figure it out later.

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Re: Naming Process

#4 Post by parttimestorier » Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:34 pm

I have a lot of trouble naming things too. I think placeholder names can be a great way to prevent the naming issue from interfering with your creative process. You can call them "FriendA" and stuff like Ezmar suggested, or just random common names like Bob and Jim, while you're writing a draft. Then when it comes to deciding on the proper names later on, I often try to come up with something that's somewhat meaningful. You could think of what one of your character's main personality traits is, for instance, and then just search baby naming sites for names related to that. I also like to make literary allusions - if your character was inspired by a character from a book you like, or something, why not give them a variation of the original character's name, or maybe name them after the author?
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