July 12, 2003

WISH 55: What's in a Name?

Perverse Access Memory: WISH 55: What's In A Name?

Ginger asks:
How do you choose character names? What makes a good or bad name for a character? What are three examples of really good (or really bad) character names, and why are they so good or bad?

I've taken names from everywhere and everything. Names that I find in my reading sometimes wind up as character names (I am being broad and adding NPCs to the mix, since I do GM much more than play).

For example, Noys, my Eric's daughter in Strange Bedfellows, got her name from a science fiction short story. Khouri, an antagonist that one of the PCs is dealing with right now, similarly got her name from REVELATION SPACE.
The three antagonists in Ghosts of the Past had their names lifted directly from the book I was basing some of the plot upon (THE ONE KINGDOM).

As far as my own characters, I have an innate bias toward Greco-Roman names (with a minor in Celtic). If I am going to join an Amber game, for instance, I am more likely to look along those lines, unless the milieu precludes it.

Thus as examples: Scipio, Tynan, Hadrian, Lorius, and Marcus. Marcus was unusual in that, long after I gave him a first name, his middle name came to me in a flash (its Julius).

Also, from SB, NPCs include Asteria, Castor and Pollux, Percy and Dulcinea.

I like to think that I keep within that "theme", that its a signature of the characters that I create.

Posted by Jvstin at July 12, 2003 8:05 AM