This post is for the writers that read my blog:
Yesterday I came up with a new idea for a short story that I'm pretty psyched about. As the idea struck in the middle of the night I spent most of the night thinking about it and trying to name my two main characters. They are a mother and daughter - yes, that part's important. Because I realised something as I was trying to find the right name for the daughter. I could think of quite a few that fit her personality and character perfectly but there was something not quite right about them. And then I realised. I was trying to name how she was now, not what she would have been named. So I started thinking more about the mother character and by getting to know her I knew what she would name her daughter.
I've never heard of this as a way to name characters before - let their own imaginary mothers find the name - and perhaps you're thinking I'm completely insane right now. But it worked this time and it's a method I will definitely be trying in the future when I get stuck on a name (and that is the main part of characterization I have problems with).
How do you name your characters or do you just instinctively know their names (this has happened to me once)?