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Road Trip Wednesday #161: What's In A Name?

Welcome to our 161st Road Trip Wednesday!

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.

We'd love for you to participate! Just answer the prompt on your own blog and leave a link - or, if you prefer, you can include your answer in the comments.

This Week's Topic is: The list of top baby names in 2012 had us talking about naming characters. How do you decide on names? Would you ever name a character after a friend/family member/ex?

Road Trip Song of the Week: "Right Round" as performed by The Treblemakers (you're welcome)

Next week: Special Expanded Week of Road Trips!

To celebrate the rapidly-approaching end of the world year, we've decided to do an expanded week of Road Trip Wednesdays focusing on the Best of 2012!

We have several different questions for each day. Answer one, answer a few, answer them all: anything goes! You can draw from books that were new in 2012, or ones that were new to you---this is just a great opportunity to reflect on the year of reading you enjoyed. Here are the week's prompts:

Monday, Dec. 24

- Best Book Of The Year
- Most Unexpectedly Delightful Book Of The Year
- Book I Wanted To Hate But Couldn't Because Game Recognize Game*
- Book I Can't Get Out Of My Mind
- Best "New To Me" YA Author

Tuesday, Dec. 25
- Best Sequel
- Best Debut
- Best Guilty Pleasure Book
- Books Not Normally In My Wheelhouse That I Still Enjoyed*
- Best Book Cover

Wednesday, Dec. 26
- Best "I Want To Go To There" Setting in a Book
- Favorite YA Characters

Thursday, Dec. 27
- Best in YA films/television
- Best Music to Write To/Be Inspired By

Friday, Dec. 28
- Most Anticipated Book Releases in 2013
- Most Recommended (By You)

* These topics lifted with admiration from Roxane Gay's end of year reading list
Photo:By Rjcastillo (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
Sarah Enni

Sarah is a young adult author and host of the First Draft podcast. She is represented by Sarah Burnes at The Gernert Company.

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  1. Here's my response:

    Happy Holidays to All!!

  2. Ooo can't wait for next week! =D I'll have to post mine early though since I'm away for Christmas.

    Here's my response for today's RTW!

  3. Here's mine, love this topic!

  4. I actually write a character naming blog, because I discovered that a lot of writers have trouble discovering names for their characters and I do not. I find names in a variety of ways: Some just come to me, some I find while perusing lists of names, some I discover while researching names that were popular when that character would have been born. I would never use the name of someone I knew, unless it was a common name like David and the character was not a main, just because I wouldn't want to have anyone think the character was the person.

  5. Here's mine:

  6. Here is mine this week. This is a fun topic. I'm interested to see what others do!

  7. Here's mine...

  8. Here's mine:

  9. This is my favorite question, as I am name obsessed!

    My Road Trip Wednesday

  10. And here's mine! -->

    So much fun to see everyone's thought processes regarding names!

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  12. Here's mine! Otherwise known as help me figure out how to name characters better...

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    1. I am not sure. Some names just seem right. Occasionally I use a family member, but that's rare. Myy favorite namer in the world is Tamora Pierce. She has the most awesome name..

  14. My characters usually name themselves. Sometimes they pick names I don't even like, but it fits them. Here's a link to a post I wrote back in February, discussing my battle with 2 of my characters:

    As for naming characters after people I know, I *might* have given the initials of a co-worker I was angry at to a bank robber who ended up tasered, tied up, and left in the bank vault he cracked. But shhhhhh!

  15. I've written a number of blog posts on names and naming, since I'm a major name nerd. My style tends towards the classical unusual and classical eccentric, and I tend to only use the more popular, common, or trendy names for minor or secondary characters. When writing something set outside of the English-speaking world, I try to use less-common names as well, and recently found an awesome Russian-language naming site that really helps, esp. because it says which names are new, old, of Slavic origin, or of other origins.

  16. Here is my response:

  17. So excited to finally post a response on here! My process is a little crazy, so I'm excited to see how everyone else does it!

    My response is on my blog:

  18. Since the world didn't end, I went ahead and posted on my blog :) Here's my response:


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Item Reviewed: Road Trip Wednesday #161: What's In A Name? Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Sarah Enni