Sometimes they’re just so obvious. Of course his name is Eddie Haven, what else would it be? Isadora Peabody. Eliza Flyte. Michelle Turner. Olivia Bellamy. Mary Dare. Will Bonner. They just popped into my mind and stuck, helping to shape the character.
Other times (um, now), it all feels so artificial. I think it was Elmore Leonard who said (I’m paraphrasing), “Don’t let your characters’ names sound like made-up names.”
So here’s where I am. I’m writing about two sisters, Isabel and Tess. That’s fine, they sound like sisters. The surname is what’s tripping me up. Due to a backstory that accesses an event in WWII, they need a Danish or maybe Swedish surname.
So far, all I’ve come up with are names that sound like Ikea furniture, or…well, you be the judge.