This fellow was strutting around Historic Forestville, and I thought he was kinda cute.
Today's Friday Five:
Five things I take into consideration when naming characters.
1. Historical context. I set the time period of the novel, then determine the age of the character. If possible, I try to find newspaper articles from that era and choose a name. If in doubt, a Bible name always works.
2. Social strata of the character. The names of Gilded Age socialites differed greatly from the names of their maids. Octavia, Consuelo, Imogen, Olympia...the more elaborate, the better for the upper crust.
3. Ethnicity. Is your family of Scandinavian descent? Scots? British? Korean? Egyptian? It makes a difference.
4. Personality of the character. Some names just inspire certain connotations for me. I couldn't name a character Jerry, for example, because I once knew a Jerry in elementary school and he was mean to me. (Maybe I could name a villain Jerry, I guess, but never a hero.) And I'd never name a strong, fiesty, adventurous character Pansy or Patsy. Unless I wanted to incorporate her dislike of her name into her character.
5. The supporting cast's names. I try not to have names that have the same starting letter, names that rhyme with any other names, or even names that have the same cadence. Sometimes these are easy to do, and other times I'm sure things slip through. But I try.
How about you? How do you name characters? Do they arrive with names already, or do you have to hunt?