Steps to a Story: Names

I have complained before about naming characters.  This is one of my least favorite parts about creating a story.  Now with Matthew’s story, I have a whole company of new soldiers who are going to need to be called something, not to mention an antagonist.

Yes, you’re right.  I don’t have to name all the soldiers, just the ones that actually do something.  And true, most of the soldiers only need a last name; the story is from Matthew’s point of view, and as a soldier himself, he probably would not refer to any of his fellow fighters by their first names.   

All of that considered, I really dislike last names.  I’m also running out of them from my existing sources.  I used the birding field guide for last names for Butterflies (Matthew’s name Lewis came from a woodpecker species) but I’ve already taken most of the good names for the novel.  (When I say “good” I mean “normal-ish.”  Xantus and Couch are a little strange for the setting, and Audubon just feels a bit too obvious.)  In naming the new characters I’ve already turned to my mammal and reptile field guides.  Unfortunately there are less of those named for people, and many of the people have multiple genera with the same name

I know I’m going to encounter more characters who need names, and I like to have a list to choose from.  It may be time to start flipping through a phone book…

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