Tuesday, June 26, 2018

#TipfulTuesday: The Best Place to Find Character Names

Cemeteries are the PERFECT place to find unique names. 
This is not an idea to pooh-pooh.

See the center stone in the photo below? My daughter just returned from a trip to the UK. She spent a day at Edinburgh, Scotland, and stopped by this cemetery where she took this photo. This is the place where J.K. Rowling went to find names for her characters! This is the stone for the real Thomas Riddell, a name used for one of her characters. She found other names in the cemetery as well.

So why not just Google websites with names?

Because those are lists of names every other writer is searching through. I've also found the same names appearing in most lists. No variety. Nothing that ... pops. The one name that best fits YOUR character could be in a cemetery. The one that will be a memorable name for all readers now and in the future.

Because these are true local names. Visit the cemetery where your story takes place. Search for the time period your character lives. Mix and match amazing names. You will be pleased.

Once upon a time, we could go to libraries and search old phone books. Now, you have to pay to view these lists online. And while that cost is less than traveling to your setting, think of the many benefits of visiting that local! The sites. The smells. The people. 

Cemeteries aren't morbid places. They celebrate lives that have contributed to society and history. I challenge you to find your next character's name in one.

~Mary Vee
Photo Credit: Carly Vaitkevicius and Flickr.com Peter, photographer

Mary Vee -  Mary Vee - Rock climbing, white-water rafting, and hiking top Mary’s list of ways to enjoy a day. She was homeless for a time, earned her MA in Counseling, and married an Air Force vet.  Mary has been a finalist in several writing contests and writes for her King.

Visit Mary at her websiteblog, and her ministry blog to families: God Loves Kids. Or chat on Facebook or Twitter

Mary's new release, Daring to Live, is a new release on Amazon.


Winnie said...

A lot of cemeteries have online lists of people buried there. You can also search on Find A Grave. Granted these are not as interesting as visiting the cemetery in person, but they're also not as expensive or time-consuming as traveling to the cemetery. I've used Find A Grave frequently in genealogy/family history research and found it to be valuable there.

I love the cemetery picture your daughter took. The old cemeteries in Scotland and England are so fascinating.

Mary Vee Writer said...

This is a fantastic idea. I didn't know about this site.
Definitely adding this to my resources.