A rose by any other name would smell as sweet…

Yes, Mr Shakespeare, but would we be quite so enamoured by Romeo if he was called Rubbish-Dump?

I have a love-hate relationship with naming my characters. I run through a list of names I like, or I think might suit, and wait for one to become inextricably linked in my mind with the character.

I might not even realise it at the time; it might just sound right – that same sort of coming home feeling you get when you’re looking for a new house and you find the one for you, even if the paint is peeling, and you’re going to have to redo the carpets.

Or that cute cuddly toy you conned your dad into getting you down the toy shop last week just seems like a Mittens, without you even having to think about it.

That’s what I look for, and sometimes it’s quick.

One character of mine called herself Callie before I had a chance to consider names, and once that name was in, it was fixed. She WAS Callie.

Then there’s the rest. The ones I struggle with, like I’m doing now.

I go through various names, and none seem quite right. Then, one pushes itself out slightly in front of the crowd, and I think, “Maybe…”.

So, now I’m in the land between “no-name” and “maybe”, which isn’t much above “no-name”, but – hey – I’ll take what progress I can get!

How about any of you? What happens when you’re trying to name characters? Whether for a story, a toy, or a bit of homework the school is making you do? Do you find it easy or hard? Do you pull the name out of a hat, or spend a while running through a list?

Whatever you do, I’d love to hear about it.