The Naming Game

I don’t mind admitting that as a writer I hate coming up with names.  Hate it.  Hate.

Almost as much as I hate coming up with titles, but that’s a whole other blog post.

It’s been particularly hard figuring out how I want to handle names in my YA steampunk book.  There were several I knew I wanted to use, but I came up with others at random in the rough draft, and someday soon I’ll have to finalize which ones I want to keep and which ones I need to change.

I’m dealing with a secondary world with humans and fantasy races but heavily influenced by our world and its technology and cultures, so I would like to use a combination of fantasy names and common real world names, which you would think would make things easier because it sounds like the sky’s the limit, right?  Except that I want a good balance and some kind of pattern that makes sense in the context of the world.

I’m also interested in names that associate with characters’ professions.  One of my secondary characters, Gee, is a shortened form of green-eye, which is his nickname and a reflection not just of the character’s eye color but his role on the railroad.  “Green eye” is railroad slang indicating the way is clear.  Probably no one would ever notice that detail, but it delights me no end.  Okay, maybe I like playing the naming game a little bit.  Except it also means I have to give in to the cliché of my male hero having piercing green eyes.  Hmm…

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