When I was twelve I read a book with angels and demons in it. In the back of the book there was an appendix listing the meanings of the names of each of the characters. I resolved to employ this detail when I wrote my own stories in the future.
Like so many things from that age, now that I’m older they seem stupid in practice. I also thought I would iron my future husband’s clothes for him #purefantasy. My husband irons his own clothes like a boss.
How does one choose the perfect name for a character? One doesn’t. Why? It’s not necessary and it’s not realistic.
I didn’t choose my name. I’m betting that you probably didn’t either unless you had your name changed. Our parents choose our names and often they’re from family names, popular culture, or a random baby book. Sometimes meanings are a consideration — a wish for the child.
It was far easier for me to choose a name by using BehindTheName.com and just picking one almost at random. For Threads of Fate, I wanted it to have an ancient Germanic feel to it, so I narrowed down the names to fit that category. I read up on German surnames as well, but BehindTheName.com also has surnames by ethnicity.
Besides ethnicity, I sometimes use popularity by decade and choose the person’s age. Madison is a newer name and wouldn’t be as appropriate for a 50 year old woman as Cynthia would be.
I’ve picked most of my names pretty randomly from the list. The names don’t have to be perfect. After writing a bit if you don’t like a name, you can always change it.
Here’s a good test — listen to the duck: