In news completely unrelated to this post, I asked my husband last night how he felt about kilts. And wearing them. And letting me call him Jamie.

He said “Um…no?”

Even though its not in a weird way at all. I just want to look at him in it. Apparently that’s not good enough, even though marriage is SUPPOSED to be about compromise.

Geez Louise.

Anyway, this half review-half writing tips post is about a book that recently changed my life.

I have a problem naming my characters. Sometimes they come to me already named, like Levi Keats, the secondary male protagonist in Catalyst. Sometimes they come to me saying “Sorry, I seem to have forgotten who I am and I’ve left my identification in my other pants.

Super annoying.

So then I struggle and stress and strain over the names of these people, whilst simultaneously forgetting the name of everything and everyone ever. Because that might give my inspiration, and we can’t have that. Thanks, brain.

Then, during a random visit to my mother, I saw this on her shelf:

The best thing that has ever happened to me

I asked her if it was any good, to which she replied:

“I don’t know, I haven’t touched it. But you’re welcome to it.”

Don’t mind if I do.

It is exactly how I would have written a Naming book. Sixteen Pages of “Don’t give you’re characters stupid names, stupid”, then several hundred pages of lists and lists and lists of names. First names, last names, meanings, naming traditions, all grouped by origin. Perfection

So, if you’re like me and can’t think of anything to call a supporting character except “The guy with the dreadlocks.”, you should definitely pick this one up.

PS: I will be posting on my HP reread just as soon as I locate my copy of SS, which someone (cough:my sister) has stolen. Stay tuned


2 thoughts on “The Book You NEED

  1. I use baby name books for my characters, at least for the first names. I also have a running list I’ve kept of names (first and last) that I find interesting, that roll off the tongue, that in some way allude to the character’s job, personality, likes or dislikes. Finally, I also found “The Secret Unniverse of Names” that I use when, like you, I’m stuck and need a name with certain qualities that my character possesses. It was three dollars on clearance at BAM. I agree, these sources do come in handy!


  2. I would just like to say, in my defence, you are looking in the wrong area for the lost sourcerer’s stone. I have my stone, but sadly not chooos. LOVEYOU!

    -Little sister

    P.S. What I would do is make lists of all of the names you hear that you like. Instead of blocking out names to avoid unintentional inspiration, be open to all of it. That’s what life is for, right?


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