Make it a (Name) Game

Have Fun With It!


A name is a very important thing in my writing. These names exist in my imagination but in order for them to be appreciated they must become treasures. Unfortunately, these jewels are more and more frequently buried somewhere only a mage, The Princess of Hidden Realms, and a monkey are able to locate while each holding a talisman. (We both know the odds of that happening.)

Really? Perhaps you are thinking this lady (me) is nuts. (You’re not alone. I actually get that a lot from friends and strangers alike.) You might also think I get all my names from my favorite movies, or family members, or a baby book. It’s not that difficult. Any name will do. You would be right. All those are viable options and at first it was easy announcing William would be the main character. Tanya would be the main character’s sister. They both live in the Village of Hope. The names were like coins in a fountain, plenty for all to see.

When pressure mounts and the dark forces of evil (called “real life”) muddy up the fountain’s Caribbean hue the ever illusive names are lost. Days pass. And pass some more. I have no idea who I’m writing about and where in the hell they are. A nightmare of a plot scenario and about thirty very detailed pages are written, after which “male lead character” says blank and “neighbor” say yada yada while they traveled into “The Town” only confuse me more. 

I shout at my muse. What’s going on? Why won’t you help me? Then I remember - he’s a bitch and doesn’t care when I scream. (Muses are very emo and temperamental in my experience. I like pixies better.)

Yet, in the mist of doubt about my muse and my ability to be creative in the face of pressured name calling, my muse reminds me that creativity is a game. (As a side note creative pixies really like games. Click here for more on pixie generation if you’re interested.)

Make it a game you say. I like that idea because it sounds fun and not something so serious as I Have To Get The Right Name Or The World Will End. Off I go. Here are some of the games I like to play for the right name.

  • The next name I hear (on the street, from a friend, the next cable series) will go into my current or next work in progress. (Unless I deemed it just too awful. I am the ruler of my imaginary people so what I say goes.) 
  • I take my huge list of names, break the seal “In Case of Emergency”, and randomly point. I must use it now because I liked them enough to put them on the list in the first place. 
  • I have a six-sided die and also borrowed game dice from my hubby that range in size all the way up to twenty sides. They tell me what name to pick. (Rules are at the discretion of the ruler, a.k.a. me.) 

1. Number corresponds with letter of the alphabet. 

2. Number corresponds with number of letters allowed in the name.

3. Number corresponds to how much chocolate I consume during the game. (Opps! Sorry, wrong game.)

  • Pick a subdivision and have fun with the street names. 
  • Pick some popular names of the year and exchanges letters or add additional letters to make it unique. 
  • Finally, I have a box of names. Scraps of real paper with hand written names or words go in the box. Then I shake it up like a good martini and pull out a winner. This is fun for names for titles too. Just keep picking.  

The games are all in good fun. Do we still have time for games these days? It is a hot commodity but you are the ruler of your world. Demand it and have fun playing. May the best Name win!

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