Warning: Function split() is deprecated in ..../includes/class_bootstrap.php(561) : eval()'d code on line 1
How does Stephen King choose character names?

This message board is only an archive. Click here to go to the current message board.

Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 32

Thread: How does Stephen King choose character names?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    159

    Default How does Stephen King choose character names?

    Has he ever discussed this? He must have a cast of thousands across all his novels and short stories including characters that only have small roles or are just mentioned. All the surnames can't just be based on names he's heard can they?

    Other authors come up with names that sound preposterous (Dean Koontz springs to mind) - does he have a phone book and a book of baby names on his desk?

    I tried writing scripts for a few years and could easily waste half an hour trying to find a character name that sounded right (I AM easily distracted though)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    14,080

    Default Re: How does Stephen King choose character names?

    Yes, he has a baby name book, has used a phone book, names he's heard or read elsewhere, and a lot of family/friend/business associate names get used. Not sure if he keeps the baby name book and phone book on his desk--I don't remember ever seeing them but I know he's mentioned having used them in the past.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Alberta,Canada
    Posts
    3,895

    Default Re: How does Stephen King choose character names?

    He should use our names from the SKMB site.
    Welcome back Marsha.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    bye
    Posts
    967

    Default Re: How does Stephen King choose character names?

    Quote Originally Posted by Moderator View Post
    Yes, he has a baby name book, has used a phone book, names he's heard or read elsewhere, and a lot of family/friend/business associate names get used. Not sure if he keeps the baby name book and phone book on his desk--I don't remember ever seeing them but I know he's mentioned having used them in the past.
    Does he use Excel? I'd love to send him the character generator I made--it makes a whole town's worth of characters at a time.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Cambridge, Ohio
    Posts
    17,667

    Default Re: How does Stephen King choose character names?

    (Dean Koontz springs to mind)
    ...do tell...examples?....and he's more preposterous than say Jordy Verill?...c'mon, it ain't an easy job to come up with names to hang on his "people", but there are many-to use your word "preposterous" names in real life...not like Unca Steve would have randomly chosen REAL monikers like "Moon-Unit" or "Weezer" out of the phone book...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    834

    Default Re: How does Stephen King choose character names?

    I think the Internet would be a vast source of first names and surnames and all other kinds of names.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    bye
    Posts
    967

    Default Re: How does Stephen King choose character names?

    Quote Originally Posted by carrie's younger brother View Post
    I think the Internet would be a vast source of first names and surnames and all other kinds of names.
    The sources I use: http://www.behindthename.com/ and http://surnames.behindthename.com/

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    159

    Default Re: How does Stephen King choose character names?

    Quote Originally Posted by GNTLGNT View Post
    ...do tell...examples?....and he's more preposterous than say Jordy Verill?...c'mon, it ain't an easy job to come up with names to hang on his "people", but there are many-to use your word "preposterous" names in real life...not like Unca Steve would have randomly chosen REAL monikers like "Moon-Unit" or "Weezer" out of the phone book...
    Taking that a little too personally don't you think?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Cambridge, Ohio
    Posts
    17,667

    Default Re: How does Stephen King choose character names?

    Quote Originally Posted by fredthe3rd View Post
    Taking that a little too personally don't you think?
    ...being a little defensive aren't you?...I asked for examples...that's all...many are quick to dump on Koontz, but I haven't found his character names to be any more bizzare, annoying or lame than any other prolific writer...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    159

    Default Re: How does Stephen King choose character names?

    You're being defensive and taking it personally. Almost as though you ARE Dean Koontz... are you? Sorry Dean.

    Jack Twist
    Ginger Weiss
    Faye Block
    Parker Faine
    Winton Tolk
    Leland Falkirk

    They sound like names made up by an author rather than names decided by a mother and father, I just don't believe them.

    I LIKE Dean Koontz, he writes some good s***. Sometimes sounds like he's trying too hard with names. Stephen king uses brackets too much (yes he does), Tom Clancy cares more about plot than characters, Mervyn Peake's drawings just RUIN any atmosphere he's built up with words.

    I can take pot shots at any number of successful authors. They won't take it personally (especially Mervyn) so no need to worry.

    I'll take pot shots at anyone. I'm a renegade. I'll take potshots at you. You don't use enough vowels. That's you're problem.

    Stephen King and character names. One further question: Does he decide on his roster of characters before he starts writing or is he highly skilled at quickly coming up with a name as needs be without ruining his creative flow?

Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •