How Do You Come Up With Character Names?

Being a writer is a wonderful thing but can also be exhausting. We have so many things to do when writing our books-ideas, plot outlines, figuring out a title, finding the right book cover, and the list goes on and on and on. Then there is the subject of coming up with character names. How do you come up with character names?

 

I have a few different ways of coming up with names for my characters.

How Do You Come Up With Character Names?

Start with names you like-When I first started compiling a list of both male and female character names, I just wrote down names that I like.

Think about names you don’t like-I think everyone has names that they are not fond of. For example, I don’t like the names Josh, David or Frank. Nothing against people with these names, but I have not had good experiences with people who have had these names. I would never use them as a character in my book.

Keep your eyes and ears out-I am always listening for different names in conversation and looking at people’s name tags who work in stores and restaurants.

Find names on social media-Pay attention to the names of the people who post in the groups you are in on social media. There are many times I have come across a cool first name and have added it to my list. Social media is a great way to find new and interesting names.

What are some of your favorite foreign countries?-Think of places, you either have traveled or would like to travel out of your country and look up popular names from that country. For example, I love the Irish name Padraic which is the Gaelic form of Patrick.

Baby Name Lists-This is my last resort when trying to come up with names. Granted, I have found some cool names on these lists, I want my characters to have unique names and not what is popular right now or in this decade.

Take Your Character Names A Step Further.

I haven’t done this yet but I’m going to start when I choose names for my characters in the future. Think about the kind of story you are writing and choose the names off your list that you think will best compliment your storyline. From there, look up the meaning of each name and then choose the best one for your hero and heroine. For me, I think this will not only help flesh out a character sketch but it will also help incorporate characteristics in my character that go along with the meaning of their name. This will also help in developing a more well-rounded character.

So, what’s in a name? The perfect concept of your character. I hope by using some of these ideas, you will not only grow a list of names that you love but also have extra inspiration from the names you pick to build strong, robust characters.

 

 

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Restoring Your Attitude After Rejection.

We as writers, no matter if we freelance or only write fiction or non-fiction, are quite a unique group. We are the only profession that constantly deals with rejection. Every day. There is no telling how many rejections can land in your inbox at any given time. It’s frustrating and disheartening at times. But what do you do after that rejection? Here are some tips to restoring your attitude after rejection.

Restoring Your Attitude After Rejection.

Don’t take it personally-This can be very hard at times, but seriously, it is not you. In times like these, you have to remember your ‘why’. Why do you write? What is your ultimate goal? This should help give you some perspective. We all get disheartened, but I always remind myself that I’m one pitch closer to a ‘yes’ and that this publication or web site was not the best home for my work.

Let it out-Definitely let your emotions out. If you are a crier, cry. If you are a screamer, scream. Whatever you need to do to get the pent up frustration out, do it. Take a walk, go to a hard core exercise class, call a friend, etc. Reach out to your writing peers for support, this way you know you’re not all alone.

Treat yourself-When you pour your heart, soul, blood, sweat, and tears into an article or project, it can be extremely depressing when it comes back to you with that lovely “Thank you for submitting to XYZ but…” that we are all familiar with. In times like these, go treat yourself. Get that massage, have your nails done, go out for an expensive dinner, eat the whole pint of ice cream. (I won’t tell, I promise.)

Look at your accomplishments-If you haven’t, start a bulletin board in your office with acceptance emails, inspiring quotes, book covers, print copies of articles you have had published, etc. This way you can always look and see how far you have come and all you have accomplished.

Move forward-This is probably is the most important thing to do next. Take a day and step away from your rejected piece and then go back in and find another place to pitch it.

Remember, rejection is not a reflection of you. It’s a sign of better things to come. Hold your head high and keep moving on. The perfect home for your next piece or book is just around the corner.

 

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Why Start?

Today I thought I would reach out to all of you who are just starting on your writing journey. Like you, I was filled with excitement, tension, and nerves when I started thinking about publishing my first book. You may have doubts and fears. You may sit and wonder, why start? What if I mess it up? What if something goes wrong in the process? What if it doesn’t go anywhere?

“Why Start?” you ask.

Because you have been dreaming about writing it your whole life.

Because it makes you feel alive.

Because it’s a part of you.

Because maybe you have always been encouraged write a book.

Because you can’t imagine doing anything else.

Why Start?

Photo courtesy of Lauren Mancke via Unsplash

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Because you will learn a lot on your first journey.

Because you’ll make mistakes.

Because it may not go anywhere. But it’s okay. For now, the feeling of accomplishment you have will be just as good.

Because you’ll meet new people along the way.

Because you will work with great people. (Interior designers, illustrators, etc.)

Because you want to leave your mark on the world.

Because you don’t ever want to have to wonder, “what if…’

Because you can.

 

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To Market, To Market: Magnificent Resources for Upping Your Book Marketing Game.

Hello. Today we are going to talk about book marketing.  Yes, I hear you groaning a collective sigh out there.  As authors, we love to write and put our blood, sweat and tears into our books. We shiver in anticipation at our next release date. We get excited when illustraions and/or book covers come back from our amazing illustrators and designers. We love the process of bringing our books to life. But what do we do after? A lot of us have a fear of promoting our books. We fear we’ll be seen as annoying self-centered. We may fear our book is not good enough.  We may be introverts and have a hard time networking and talking to people. Still, at the heart of it all, I think a lot of us don’t know where to start.  There is tons of marketing advice, classes, blogs, articles, etc. It just gets mind boggling. I get it. Today I have made a list of some magnificent resources for upping your book marketing game than any author can try.

Magnificent Resources for Upping Your Book Marketing Game.

Books

How To Market A Book Release: Develop Your Best Marketing Strategy For Each Book Launch by Misty M. BellerI recently read this for a book review challenge and found it very helpful. Misty breaks down everything from finding your target reader, Preorders, Paid Advertising and so much more.

How I Sold 80,000 Books by Alinka Rutkowska-I was on a webinar with Alinka and she really knows what she’s doing. Her unique marketing technique is that she sells her children’s books on cruise ships.

Smashwords Book Marketing Guide by Mark Coker-This book is targeted specifically to ‘Smashers’, those who publish on Smashwords. However, I feel this book could be helpful to anyone.

YouTube Videos.

I recently attended the Bestseller Online Book Summit and gleaned a lot of information from the presenters.  If you are looking for information on how to make your next book launch a success which ties in with marketing, check out this video.

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Bestseller+Online+Summit

Blogs to Follow.

www.michaelhyatt.com-Michael Hyatt is a successful author and virtual mentor. I highly recommend his book Platform which is about how to get noticed in a noisy world. Although he doesn’t necessarily specialize in book marketing per se, he still gives out really good advice about content marketing.

www.goinswriter.com-Jeff Goins is a successful author who blogs about writing, life, and creative work.

www.servenomaster.com-Jonathan Green was on the Bestseller Online Book Summit and I totally resonated with him. He is a best selling author and online business entrepreneur. His blog, Serve No Master, gives great advice on both business and writing matters. Make sure you click on the sidebar and register to win a copy of his Kindlesniper course, which teaches authors how to start a profitable Amazon business and launch best sellers.

By taking the time to check out these resources, you could be taking your book marketing from lame to ‘on top of your game’ in no time.  Do you have any book marketing resources you find helpful? I’d love to know.

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