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Letter Writing

Hmm… What about Cornelius Arbuthnot III?

Coming up with interesting characters is my favorite aspect of writing fiction.  I enjoy it more than the writing process itself which is really, really, really hard and not nearly as much fun as you would think.  That doesn’t mean writing isn’t rewarding.  It’s just not all that fun.

Luckily, character naming is fun and it’s also a really important part of the process.  I can’t get to know a character and start to tell his or her story until I’ve pinned down a good name.  The name is fundamental to the character’s background and sense of self.  It lets me know where the character is coming from, both literally and figuratively.

Here are some web resources that I frequently use to come up with ideas for character names:

I also keep a list of spam names.  That’s right, those unsolicited emails that you get from people with names like Esteban Herschel and Vernetta Suanne.  I check my email’s spam folder periodically and keep a list of the best names in case I need some inspiration.

What resources do you use to come up with character names?

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