"His character was decided. He was the proudest, most disagreeable man in the world, and everybody hoped that he would never come here again."
Wait, wait, wait. THIS is what Elizabeth first thought of Mr. Darcy? Well, yes. Unfortunately Jane Austen didn't say anything about his appearance at this time in the book (which is at the very beginning), and so we assume he really is what Elizabeth suggests. But... his name. Jane Austen draws us in with his name!
And how about Katniss? Or Peeta? Or Atticus from To Kill a Mockingbird? How do authors pick the perfect name for their characters? How do they get remembered?
The Secret: The name has to be... DIFFERENT.
Don't you see the pattern? When was the last time you met someone on the street named Katniss? Or how about Mr. Darcy? Or maybe Atticus? Or even Flynn Ryder, like the handsome and more-than-slightly charming counterpart in Tangled?
What's in a name, you ask? EVERYTHING! Everything is in a name! Okay, so you can't exactly say that just by reading the name "Mr. Darcy" do you instantly have to fan yourself with your hand (unless, of course you already know who he is), but it does have a certain... allure. You want to know more about this character. You read how seemingly atrocious he is in the beginning, and as a reader you just... you get so annoyed with his attitude, yet you want to know why he's like that. You want to know more about him! Sure, a name doesn't always bring on a flurry of questions, but why not try to create one that does? I mean, just think about the name Julia. Captivating, gorgeous, lovely... yeah, okay maybe not so much. But what about Gwendolyn Rose? I mean, if the writers of the Disney film Tangled could create a character whose name is Flynn Ryder but actually turns out to be Eugene Fitzherbert, then I'm sure Gwendolyn Rose could fly just as wonderfully if you have the readers fall in love with who they really are.
It's all about being unique. Having your character's name stand out. I know it's really hard to come up with names sometimes, but I know you can do it! Just try not to use Jane or Sara or John or Josh.
What are some unique names you've come up with?
How did you go about creating it?