Character Naming Ceremony

Now I have an idea of my concept, I need to start naming my characters.

There are three key characters in the novel as it stands:

  • The protagonist: late 20s, early 30s, female, mother
  • The antagonist: same age, female
  • The protagonists husband: same age, male, father

This is going to be a story about when bad things happen to an ordinary family. So I want to choose ordinary names – names that were popular around the times my characters were born.

A quick google of popular names in the UK in the 1980s has given me the following list:

Girls: Sarah, Laura, Gemma, Emma, Rebecca, Claire, Victoria, Samantha, Rachel, Amy

Boys: Christopher, James, David, Daniel, Michael, Matthew, Andrew, Richard, Paul, Mark

I don’t like to choose names when I know a person with that name particularly well, so that rules out a few. And I don’t want to use names like Amy and Rachel, as these were the protagonists in Gone Girl, and The Girl on the Train.

So I think I’m going to name my ordinary couple Claire and Matt

My antagonist isn’t who she seems…she has chosen her name herself, to blend in with a crowd. She’s going to choose “Emma” for precisely the same reasons as I’ve chosen my characters’ names. “Everyone knows an Emma.” So if someone asks if they’ve met her, they might say yes, even if they haven’t. An Emma who’s a mother. The kind of person everyone knows.


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