By Keith Fisher
I’ve noticed a trend in some of the books I’ve been reading lately. Some of the prolific authors tend to use the same names over and over again. I caught myself doing it one day when I gave a new character a name and realized I used the name in another book.
As authors I think we tend to use names and people we are familiar with, instead of expanding our horizons. To keep from falling into the trap, there are many places on the internet that list names. I found a great one at Mongabay.com. Unlike most name websites, it lists last names too.
On a related note, I was clearing out spam and old emails from accounts I don’t use anymore. The process took the better part of an hour, but as I was deleting, I discovered something interesting. I was erasing a list of names. Not just first names, but first names with last names.
Suddenly I was paying more attention to the sender column than the subject lines. I found some great antagonist names in the sender line of the most aggravating spam emails. Don’t you think that Cialis would be a great first name for a female villain?
But I did find some good name combinations and the work of creating has already been done for me. There were normal names like Betty Collins but there were a lot of unusual names too. Names that readers will remember. Like Tyrone Watson, and Alexander Thompson.
There were many unusable names too, like Unwanted Fat, and Hair Replacement. But I got a kick out of the thought of using Sears Sale. It kinda sounds like She sells seashells by the seashore. Instead we’d use Sears Sale sold socks in his solid stand built by stinky silkworms. It’s not much of a tongue twister, but its cute none-the-less.