Character Names

I have a tendency to overanalyze and ruminate about almost anything, and that is never more true than when I’m writing. This bleeds into choosing names for characters, which I probably spent an absurd amount of time doing, even for very minor characters.

I began my research on the first name for each character by searching things like, “Celtic Names for Females.” I also utilized various baby book names in order to find names that I liked.  I tried to find names that fit with the character, or that would detail out something very specific for that character.  For example, “Fallon” means “leader” and was simply so spot-on that I couldn’t help myself.

What was most important to me was that the names weren’t overly utilized, either in the media or in other books. Which meant that I spent a fair amount of time writing a character with one name, then realizing that it was absurdly popular in another context, and changing the name to something less used or at least more appropriate for the character’s personality.

Adelaide “Addie” Auctor was originally not going to be the main character’s name. In fact, the first several drafts of the first book had a completely different name.  However, after a period of time, I changed my mind because I didn’t like how frequently the original name was used in other books and because I discovered the name Adelaide and fell in love with it.

The same is true for the vast majority of the first names of the main characters of the books. There are very few names that have stayed the same from first draft to the present.  The rest of the names have been changed, either because I suddenly became disenchanted with a particular name or came across a name that I thought was more apropos for the character.

 

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