I ran across some useful sources for character names today that I’d like to share.
• Native American names at Writing Adolescent Fiction/Character Names/Native American but be sure to carefully distinguish tribe-appropriate names.
• Wikipedia Category: Surnames a listing of a large number of surnames that can be searched by the first two letters
• White Pages.com, a place where you can see the distribution of a surname across the United States and also find out how popular it is
• Baby Name Data from the Social Security Administration, in case you have a question like: what boys names were popular in the U.S. in the 1890s? Data is available by decade and state, and you can also find popular names for twins.
• Baby Names World, a particularly useful name site because besides searching by name, you can search by a set of letters that appear at the start, end, or anywhere in the name.
We call it waiting because we don’t find it valuable in and of itself (if we did, we’d assign a different name): it’s time that doesn’t have its own meaning—a holding place until the real event starts.
These days it’s often possible to avoid waiting—we carry cell phones and lap tops and PDAs to chase the waiting time away or turn it into time with a purpose. But there can still be odd moments when we’re unprepared for the wait, or get bored with or need a break from whatever we brought along to do.
Last week I had an unexpected wait when someone had to excuse himself temporarily from a meeting. After wearing out the other options, I took a look in the magazine rack. Among magazines featuring recipes and decorating ideas, I didn’t expect much of real interest or use. But I got a surprise.
Authors of fiction start their creative process in various ways. Some tout character, some setting, some plot, as the jumping off point for their writing.
In this regard, I suppose that I am of the “eclectic” school, because my creations grow from different starting points at different times.
And inspiration comes from a variety of sources.