Another good article from Meg Sorick. NB Don’t forget the local telephone directory …

Meg Sorick, Author

How do you choose a name for a character?  Some of my characters’ names came from deceased relatives, old family friends, and a particularly useful website:  Since names fall in and out of popularity throughout the years, one way to name your character realistically is to see what names were popular for the year in which they were born. That’s what this website can tell you –the most common names given to the children of that age.

For choosing surnames, I carefully watched film and TV show credits, paid attention to the last names of athletes, people in the news and even place names. Detective Jack Staley, for example, arose from – Jack: a consistently strong male name (think Jack Kennedy, Jack Ryan, Jack Reacher, Jack Bauer) and Staley which I borrowed from former Philadelphia Eagles’ running back Duce Staley. (Also giving it a Philly connection). Maya Kaminsky is…

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2 thoughts on “Naming Names

    • The telephone directory method often works. Not in Wales though where there are so few surnames. I think our telephone directory contained about 50 pages with the name JONES! Hence the epithets: Jones the Baker, Jones the Milk, Upper jones and Lower Jones … Jones Bungalow (not much in the top storey).


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