I’ve probably written about this topic before, but I’m too lazy to search through my previous posts. Doesn’t matter, though. I’ve suffered from this problem for years, and as far as I can tell, will continue to suffer from it for many more.
I’m terrible at choosing character names.
I mean really, really bad.
I know other writers suffer from this malady too, but I take it to another level. Consider the fanfic story I’ve worked on for the past six years (Okay, so I’m a slow writer.). Almost half the characters still have placeholder names. Names I’ve ripped from other stories with vaguely similar characters. Names of personal friends. Names from RPGs. Silly names suggested by my kids. Sometimes I just call them XXX and YYY, which drives my crit partner nuts.
I’m four chapters into my paranormal YA and I haven’t even decided upon a name for my protagonist yet. I toyed with the idea of using “Karen” for a while, but most of my crit partners hated the name, including a CP whose name is Karen. Said it sounded too old for an 18 year old. They suggested I look up common baby names for 1997, which is a good idea, but after perusing the lists, I still haven’t found a name I’m comfortable with.
Strangely enough, I did come up with a name I loved for the protagonist of the MG fantasy I wrote during Nano a few years ago. Unfortunately that manuscript has since been moved to the back burner to let the plot simmer, so it will be a while before I get back to enjoying the benefits of having a permanent name for my MC.
Such is the life of a newbie writer.
So how do you guys pick your character names?