While I use criteria to discover names for characters, I often rely on my instincts in narrowing down the lists. I don’t always know why I choose a certain name, but I know I like it.
Male, 35, set in the near future
His father was a marine who was killed at war, and mother was a doctor.
He is a scientist working for the government on a program for wounded soldiers; is mentally ill but only in random outbreaks; is compassionate yet reserved; was supposed to be killed in a car crash when he was 17, but his friend helped him cheat fate, hence the mental scars as fate’s revenge.
Note: he must have a full name, but he will often be called Dr. (something), because of his job.
Thinking of names for this Ph.D. was hard, since I had to find a surname to suggest. I believe I looked at lists of scientist’s names to find Lunny. Even now I think it’s perfect for a scientist with psychological issues.
For the given names, I looked for names from the writer’s home state, hoping that was where the character may have been born.
I see you’re in Texas, so I let that color my naming.
- Dr. Colton Lunny: A cowboy name, tough but skittery
- Dr. Mark Lunny: Determined, wants to have it together (Could be a Jr.)
- Dr. Trent Lunny: Athletic, used to pushing through the pain
- Dr. Gavin Lunny: Serious, thoughtful
- Dr. Roberto Lunny: Layers of inner conflict, sure and true
The writer never replied, so I can only hope that Dr. Colton Lunny was the winner. I like the other names I suggested, but that one just had the right flow.
One of my writing group’s members asked that we begin our critiques with what we liked in the piece, and I had to admit to her that I have a hard time giving compliments. When I like something it’s hard for me to put in words why, I just know that it feels right—in the same way that a character name can just feel right.