Creating Character Names

Coming up with a character name that is both unique and timeless can be something of a daunting task, especially if it's going to be part of a series. You don't want something generic sounding like "John Smith," but you also don't want to go too far in the deep end with something like "Katniss Everdeen" (sorry Suzanne Collins, but that name is dreadful).  

For the main characters in Gods From the Machine I had quite a difficult time choosing names that would both fit my characters and also add a layer thematic symbolism.

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In the case of Nick Emberson, I chose it by going off of a name that would be related to the devil or the occult. "Old Nick" is the English appellation for the Christian teachings of the Devil. Emberson came from the Emerson brand of television I own, which combined with "ember" makes for normal sounding, but unique name that plays on the element of fire. As for his alter ego, Agrian, it came from what I envisioned would be a good name to scream or yell. I likened my decision for the name based upon how Rocky Balboa screamed  "Adrian! Adrian!" after the climactic showdown with his rival Apollo Creed.  

 

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Alyssa Masters was simple. I had her first name taken with the combination of my initials which are "A.L." to form a name that sounded elegant. The surname of Masters comes from my own idea of something that sounded both powerful and refined.  

Matthew Cunningham was chosen because at the time of Nick's conception, I figured he'd have a best friend called Matthew. Sometimes people mistake it for a biblical reference, but I have always thought the name Matt had casual and carefree air about it, much like the character himself. As for Cunningham, it related it to his very wealthy upbringing, which in my mind came names like the Hamptons, Rockefeller, etc. 

There you have it! That's how I came up with the names of the three main characters. Feel free to share this with your family and friends.