Saturday, July 31, 2010

Name, Please

A name is part of who a person is. It's the label that stands for everything you've done
 and everything you are. --Orson Scott Card, Characters and Viewpoint
I have this pretty vine growing next to the house, and I've loved watching it flourish this summer. It started out as a couple of tiny sprouts and tendrils then shot forth into tangled leafy runners that sometimes seemed to grow inches in minutes. The bright red blossoms are small but spunky. This is the first year that we've trained the plant to climb a trellis, one which sits just under our porch room window. From inside looking out, you'd think we have a window box out there. It's  a summer bright spot for us--especially when the hummingbird visits!

But the problem is, I don't know the flower's name. The neighbor lady who gave us our first seedlings didn't either. And the not knowing is bugging me. What should I be calling it, besides my "pretty little vine with red flowers"? What is its name?  

I'm in a similar quandary with characters in my next project, especially my MC. I don't know her name yet either. What I do know is that she, too, is spunky. I know she will have to climb and stretch. I also know that she will grow--and maybe sometimes so fast it will take her breath away. But just what is her name?

I'm on a quest to find out.... 

And so, as I embark on this challenge, I'll ask you: how do you come up with names for your characters? Any tips? How do you know when it's a perfect fit?
And, please, can  anyone tell me the name of my flower?


  1. Your flower is beautiful but I don't know names of what I even have in my own yard:) I usually come up with a name right away for my MC--a name for that time and age and then maybe a name of someone I know who reminds me a abit if them.

  2. That flower is lovely! I've yet to really think of names for my characters... they are always just sort of there....

  3. They almost look like four o'clocks, but I don't think they are. Hard to tell, and I am not a flower expert:) But they are pretty!

    Character names come from all over the place. I've used family names, names I like, names that just seem to fit - it's different every time!