Okay guys, I need your advice on character names! The MC from my current work in progress is lacking a decent name. So far I’ve just been calling him ‘Ben’ but it’s not right.
First I’ll tell you a little about him. He was born in Kenya to Kenyan parents but raised in New York, making him African-American. He’s 17-18 years old now, and the novel is set in present day so I need a name that fits for about 1993. Personality-wise he is brave, loyal, strong, protective and family-orientated but he has a short fuse and difficultry controlling his emotions. He is easily influenced by others and sometimes falls in with the wrong crowd and gets himself in trouble, but overall he is a good person despite the bad things that have happened to him. Physically he’s average height, slim but muscular, dark skinned.
I’m looking for a name that fits with his ethnic background (his parents speak Swahili and English) but wouldn’t be too out of place in America. I prefer short, one syllable and masculine sounding names, like Lend from Kiersten White’s Paranormalcy and I’d like to find something that stands out as being slightly different so that it’s memorable. I know, I’m not asking for much am I?
Here are some of my brainstorming ideas:
Leo (today in Swahili-also has connection with lions)
Zane (strive in Swahili)
Clay (as Laura pointed out the symbolism fits)
Chane (suggested by my mate Steve’s friend Janet)
Yes, I like names with ‘A’s in them. None are very African-American, I know. Any suggestions?
My vote is for Clay. It's malleable when you first start working with it. It takes time, working with it to find its true shape. And when it's undergone extreme heat (kiln) it keeps its shape. The name sounds like it describes your character well and throws a little symbolism in for fun.
Wow I'm loving the symbolism of Clay, Laura. I hadn't thought of that but you're right- it does fit him nicely. Thanks for that!