Coming Up With Memorable Names

Coming up with names for your characters is so important. You want these namesakes to stand out and embody the very essence of your characters. Of course, there are some genres that tend to use common everyday names, but a lot of writers seize the opportunity to use more flamboyant names like Phillius McFlinn – because why not? You want your characters to be memorable!

At the moment, I’m writing a fantasy novel, so I’ve been running wild with names for the places, characters and creatures that inhabit my world. Coming up with names can be a challenge, especially when you think about it too hard. The best names usually come to me quite instinctively through some sort of divine eureka moment.

If you’re having trouble naming your creations, then don’t worry. The beauty of naming things is that names are interchangeable and altering the names of your characters can be literally the last thing you do when redrafting. So if you’re struggling to find a name for Sergeant Grim-face, then just call him Sergeant Grim-face while writing – or Bob – until you find a name that fits.

There are thousands of name generators out there, whether it be for fantasy, sci-fi or any other genre. There are also baby name websites that have an untold amount of name options for you to peruse, which is probably why kids nowadays are called names like Neveah and Atticus. Let’s not even mention Khaleesi..

What I also do is keep a list of any interesting names I come across, as well as those that I ‘invent’, because one of them might end up being the perfect name for Sergeant Grim-face! Having a stockpile of awesome names on standby can save you a lot of pondering when it comes to naming things.

So have fun with naming your babies! You don’t have to worry about your literary children getting bullied for their outlandish name (unless that’s part of the plot) – name them whatever you bloody well like! Seize your creative liberty and revel in playing God!

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Why do I write?

Writing is something that I thoroughly enjoy doing.

Quite often, I get caught up in the dream of getting published and forget that I write simply because it’s something that I love doing! Of course, it would be fantastic if I could share my books with the world, but remembering the real reason that I write takes the pressure off a bit.

I love creating different worlds and characters to fill them. I love telling stories and putting my characters through difficult situations. When I remember that I write for the fun of it, I’m less questioning of my ideas. It frees me to pursue whatever project I want, without worrying what other people might think of it.

It is important to pursue what you love. Hobbies and passions give you a sense of purpose and enrich your time here on this Earth. Even if I never get published, I’m pretty sure that I’ll be writing until the end of my days.

The Flow of Writing

Writing is such a precarious thing.

Some days are naturally better than others, though there are usually some clear ingredients that make for good productivity. Concentration, focus, drive, passion… these are all things that help to spur you along. But I find that the best way to be productive is to lower the pressure.

Writing is meant to be fun. You’re meant to enjoy it, right? So don’t put too much pressure on yourself to get it done. It shouldn’t be a chore and you have to accept that some days your creative juices will flow better than others. I try not to be too hard on myself when I have a slow day, because your flow will always return, usually when you’re not thinking too much about it.

Being hard on yourself only stagnates the flow. Writing a book shouldn’t feel like you’re writing an academic essay, so relax and enjoy it! Self-doubt creates mental barriers and writer’s block, so be confident and stride onward. Yes, some writing days are slower than others, but at least you’ll be making progress. Every word is progress.

However, I’ve come to learn that some days are quite simply a lost cause. So you have to learn when it is worth sailing against the wind or abandoning ship entirely. Of course, it is usually worth sticking around, just in case the wind catches your sails!