characers

Writing Resource: What’s in a Name?

Naming characters can be a difficult task. Sometimes they just come to me, and other times I search and claw and bang my head against the keyboard (figuratively, at least).  I want the name to not only feel and sound right, but also to convey some sort of meaning (at least most of the time).  I’ve been guilty of trolling names site for so long that I use up all of my writing time (I would never procrastinate).

Favorite Free Resources

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Below are some of my favorite sites for finding names for characters:

  • Behind the Name: First Names: Give your novel more depth by choosing names carefully.  Find out about the etymology here.
  • Behind the Name: Surnames (Last): History of last names divided by nationality.
  • Patron Saints names and their patronage.
  • Name Generator for character names and a personality profile based on Meyers Briggs (so fun!).
  • Name generator based on gender and nationality.
  • Fantasy Name Generator.  Okay, this is just for fun, but once in a while I need to take a break.
  • Meaning of Names Type in a meaning and get a list of names. Boom.
  • Name Berry allows you to search for names with a specific ending, beginning, or containing options.

Character Board

I also have a board on Pinterst that includes everything for a character–appearance, personality, etc. Click here to see the board.

Saint’s Names

My writing partner, Tamar Hela, gave me the link to the Saint’s Names site above. She has some awesome free resources on her site, too. Click here.

Do you have any great resources for names? If so, I would love to hear from you. 🙂

Ignite your creativity with the Prompt Me Series

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6 Tips for Writing a Novel
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Prompt Me Series by Robin Woods

FAN QUESTION: Which character do you identify with the most?

Which character do you identify with the most?
Anonymous via TUMBLR

Honestly I identify with all of my characters.  I try to look at everything from each character’s point of view.  They are living and breathing people in my head.  I identify with Joshua’s search to try to find something meaningful to hang onto after experiencing so much loss.  With Gabriel, for his protective instincts and Bowen for rejecting the paths that others want him to take.   And of course, with Ali for always trying to do the right thing and feeling like she gets punished for the tiniest infraction.

If I had to narrow it to one person though, it would be Aleria.  Though, It may because I have spent hundreds of hours in her head.  She is not me, but there are elements of me in her—-and in all of my characters.

FAN QUESTION: B v. J

Are you a Bowen fan or a Joshua fan? Theoretically if you didn’t know how this series was going to end, who would you want Ali to end up with?

Anonymous

Ummmm…both (shrugging shoulders).  I adore both of them in completely different ways.  There isn’t really a love triangle per-say, but I understand people taking sides.

Bowen is that bad-boy with an air of mystery.  Despite being the “bad guy” he does have a sense of honor.  He genuinely cares for Aleria.

Joshua represents safety and home.  I was chatting with Trudreamr, who runs my fan site, and she said this: “I am more drawn to Bowen.  I like Bowen more, but if I was choosing someone for Ali, I choose Josh for her.”  This too, is a valid thought.  I must note at this point her friend Sarah chimed in and said she was team Peter and fist pumped in the air.

So, in response I am going to say that I am a Gabriel fan.  I know, I’m evil.  I seriously couldn’t choose.  I do know how the series is going to end…and I can’t promise she will end up with anyone.  How is that for a non-answer?

FAN QUESTION: Ali’s Loyalty

I gotta say right off the bat that I am a huge fan of your books. A couple months ago I got my friend into them too. But recently she and I have been getting into arguments because she doesn’t like Ali. She doesn’t think she has enough of a personality or thinks that some of her actions aren’t good. Like she thinks that Ali has no loyalty because she leaves her friends after Josh comes back. When she says this I take it as a personal attack because I relate to Ali so much. What should I do?

Anonymous via TUMBLR

First of all, thank you for reading.  I am honored that people are passionate about my books.  Unfortunately, we can’t *make* people like what we like.  I am a little baffled on the not having enough personality.  Ali is strong and sassy in my mind’s eye (you see this more in The Nexus).  She is not perfect, but who is?  The flaws are what make characters interesting.The Unintended HiRez

As far as loyalty goes, I see her as fiercely loyal.  All of the decisions she makes in The Unintended are pretty much based on loyalty.  She avoids her friends to protect them, not leave them behind.  She would much rather have a house full of people when she feels threatened, but the thought of one of her friends getting hurt is more than she can handle.  So she faces a creepy, empty house on her own.

Another point: She never abandoned her friends the entire time she was dating Robert, and she wouldn’t have done it if the situation with Joshua was a little more normal.  The only reason she hadn’t been hanging out with them more was because she was in huge trouble with her parents for letting her grades slip after breaking up with Robert.

[Spoilers for The Unintended below]

When she makes the decision to leave her family and friends in the end of the novel, it is not because of Josh (although, he is a bonus).  She leaves to protect both her friends and family.  Peter almost died because of her.  The danger is immediate enough, that Peter leaves, too.  Isn’t that loyalty?

In The Nexus, she is willing to give herself up to save her friends.  There are many, many more examples of this.  In fact, her willingness to sacrifice herself for others becomes a hot-button issue in The Fallen.

Hopefully this helps!  I’m happy to help if you have other questions.

I have some freebies here: https://robinwoodsfiction.com/for-fans/