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What’s in a name?

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This is actually a funny blog post because I only discovered this by mistake while writing out the character profiles over the last month or so. There are very few character names that I really really thought about before naming them: Portia Adams and Nerissa are two that spring to mind right away for example in that I walked around thinking about the best name for my protagonist for some time. I knew her last name had to be Adams based on the canon, but her first name is all mine, and led to the naming of her faithful bloodhound Nerissa.

BUT what is interesting is that the rest of the characters were named on instinct for the most part. Brian Dawes for example, was just the name that seemed to fit the character best, based on nothing but it seeming to fit. The same is true for Sergeant Michaels, Dr. Beans, Chief Inspector Archer and Annie Coleson.

I struggled with Dr. Gregory Charles (actually I still do) because it seemed to be a name that was too anonymous. But as the character is growing in my mind, more and more it seems to fit.

The funny thing is that while writing these character profiles I am discovering neat things about my seemingly random instinctive choices. Some really apt meanings of names have sprung out at me from Google that honestly make me feel like some higher power (the God of the Lexicon perhaps) was guiding my hand. It’s very weird, but also super cool.

This has led to planning the first names for Michaels and Archer (who up until now were only known by their titles and surnames) that I will not claim were random.

What about you guys? How do you decide on character names?

#writing #names #detective #characters #portiaadams #development #fiction

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