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Naming your characters. . .

(Don’t forget the amazon card giveway in the last post.)

My oldest son reads fan fiction obsessively and occasionally likes to write it.  Recently, he was wondering how writers name their characters.  He shared a few of his techniques with me and I was impressed–he looks up websites that have meanings for names and chooses based on that, pretty good for a fifteen year old (his parent’s son?).  If the name is in another language (Japanese, in his case) he puts English words into Google translate and sees how they come out in that language.  And he makes sure they’re gender-appropriate.

Part of my recent novel takes place in Germany in the first half of the last century, so websites providing common German names during that time were a great boon for me.  Actually, the web proved invaluable for me in the accuracy of that novel, which I’ll discuss in another post.

As Lynn, my linguist friend, will attest, naming is powerful.  How about you?  How do you name your characters?

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