Character of the Week: Going Bad Names

This writer gave me just what I needed to have a feel for the character. The description was simple and to the point. It lacked specifics about the plot, but gave just the right selection of information about the character.

Female, 22 years old, current time period, college student after taking a few years off. 

Parents are conservative—careers something like lawyer or doctor. Not the kind of loving, homey parent—more strict, almost mean.

I’ve only named one character so far—her boyfriend Toby, a sweet, smart, almost nerdy kind of guy.

In the story she starts out as your average girl, wanting to do well in college. Goes a little crazy trying to do well. Ends up using and hurting friends, breaking the law, cheating on her boyfriend—all to get ahead.

Although I wasn’t told where the character grew up, I didn’t need that information to help me narrow down a list of suggestions. I looked for names that could be sweet or that could be sassy. This character starts off like a good-girl/every girl, and ends up like a hell cat, so her name needs a bit of both qualities.

  • Kimber
  • Fiona
  • Carlie
  • Audra
  • Iris

The writer replied: I think I may use Carlie. Or switch last minute to Fiona. I haven’t decided yet. Thanks a bunch!

This was a “good” naming, in that I felt I knew just enough about the character to help the writer find an appropriate name.

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