Hi Gang, Craig here today with a little confession to make. I hate naming things. This can be almost any form, I’m just not comfortable with names. This can be countries, planets, characters, ships, whatever.
Sometimes I feel like I did okay. I think the name, Lisa Burton, suits my robotic personal assistant and spokesmodel.
I’m pretty content with the name of the pirate ship in my current project. Lanternfish has a fair ring to it, and it’s kind of a vicious creature too.
Others, I hide in the corner and hope the names are acceptable to my reading audience. In fact, the main character in The Yak Guy Project has no name at all. Hey, it worked for Clint Eastwood movies.
My character, Clovis, from The Playground, never got a last name. It didn’t stop him from being a pretty popular character with my readers.
I’ve picked up a few tricks along the way. I’m going to share a few things with you guys… and maybe you can share a few with me.
First, there are all kinds of lists online. There are baby names for every ethnicity, and also lists of popular names by year. I used one of these when I chose Patty Hall. Patty was a popular name in the 1960s when she would have been born. I wanted a pretty “vanilla” name for this character to help sell her character growth. No special snowflake type name for this girl.
I’m not providing lists here today. It’s 2018, and I assume you have some google experience. There are bunches of these things, and a list would actually be counter productive.
I even found one of nearly-extinct names. My own grandmothers names are nearly gone from living memory. Thelma and Gladys…
Another favorite of mine is the Major League Baseball roster of players. Some of these guys have awesome names. Come on, Madison Bumgarner??? The trick here is to spot a few you like, then mix and match. Daydream a bit, and maybe you can salvage a first or last name. Bonus with MLB, there are ethnic names galore here too, Kenta Maeda anyone.
I have no doubt that other sports could provide something similar. I still have a program from my daughter’s high school graduation, and find it pretty helpful.
I also discovered something on my own. There are some words you can add to other words, then chew them over as possible names. Here is a list, that probably should get expanded at some point:
I’m going to look out my back door where my peaches are growing. Possible names: Peachwood, Fruitwood, there is even such a thing as Peachstone. Frankie is out there too, perhaps
Dogwood, or Wolfstone. Okay, there is something already called a dogwood, and I admit she doesn’t make much of a wolf.
These aren’t great names, but it’s a basis to work from. I’ll grant you these may be better suited to a fantasy story.
Granted, you can add land to a country or city, like Fruitland. I could use a few more tail-words for this concept.
What other lists can we piece together in the comments? I’d like a few tail-words for science fiction, paranormal, and just the real world. I keep living documents, and would like to build one for naming of places, things, and people.