"The name of Noelene has given you an appreciation for many beautiful and refined aspects of life--music and art, literature, drama--and the outdoors, where you find much peace and relaxation, but it creates a far too sensitive nature."
True in many ways because I love music - country, easy listening, play the keyboard organ since learning piano as a child. And art - especially landscapes and aboriginal art. And the last part is spot on - I love the Australian bush, find it utterly necessary to the peaceful life I want to live here in the country and would never consider living in a city. And, yes, I admit to being very sensitive.
However, I digress.
The names we give our story people. What about them? How do we get them? I'm always looking at the name credits at the end of a television programme or movie [if they don't go too fast]. Of course there are telephone books, baby name sites, name generator sites. Whenever I drive along the A8 highway toward Ballarat, there is an unsealed road leading off that has the name Sweet Pea Paddock Road. Love it. How on earth did it acquire that name? So I guess as creative people, writers are always subconsciously looking out there for ideas all the time.
I find only a certain name will do for a particular character. Some possibilities just don't work for the image I have in my head and the person my protagonist is meant to be as I begin plotting a novel and learn more about him or her. As my characters become clearer in my mind, they lead the story and become real. They create their own background story and issues. They come alive in the early thinking and planning process. Which makes it easy in the writing especially when it comes to dialogue and keeping that person in character throughout. Without characters of course there is no scenario, no story.
Two rather famous story people
The heroine in my recently completed story, Outback Kingdom, the first in my new Outback trilogy, did not come alive until I realised she was an Irish redhead and gave her the name of Meghan. My hero is a true Aussie bloke of course and is called Dusty although his real name is Daniel. I often find my characters end up with nicknames. Meghan, for example, is called Meggie by all of her Irish friends and family which I didn't know until they started speaking to her.
So now it's on to my next set of characters, Sophie who has a half share in an outback sheep station in the South Australian Flinders Ranges and Charlie who is a geologist and comes onto her property for research. They're already well formed in my mind and they're personal stories are emerging.
I would love to hear about your favourite characters or the current ones in the book you are writing.