Naming characters. #writing #screenwriting

I’m now faced with the challenge of what I should name the characters in my new screenplay. I hate naming characters in fiction. I love inventing the characters, but that’s part of the problem: I invest so much time in creating a character I rack my brain trying to come up with a name to which I’m willing to commit. Just saying that I could change it later only delays the problem.

Another thing is that in recent years I’ve enjoyed writing characters with no names at all. Not only do I think it makes the story more dramatic in a way, it feels more tidy. If there’s no need for a character to have a name, I won’t give it one. If an entire novel is told in first person and deals with that person’s psyche, there’s no need to have the character say “My name is…” at some point.

That would work fine with this new screenplay. Should the movie get made, I could get by without the characters naming each other on screen. But I have to still identify them in the script. Simply saying “Character 1” and “Character 2” would get confusing. I suppose I could come up with identifiers that describe the characters in a word or two, just for the sake of the script. However, I’m still in just the outline stage. I haven’t formulated everybody fully yet.

Yes, I’m behind. I only wanted to take a week, and if it didn’t work out, go back to the novels I‘m working on. But I think I am onto something here. I do like where the story is headed. The truth is that I didn’t finish the outline last week because I couldn’t think of anything. Instead I distracted myself with household chores or just got lazy. I see some of that happening this week as well. I like my new job better than my last one but it can still get so stressful that I get home burnt out some days. I know that this coming Friday I’m going to not be able to work on the screenplay, or at least not too much. I have something to work with, though, so for better or worse I’m going to stick to it.

Anyway, I got as far as the third point on the outline when I froze. I wrote “Sex scene between” and couldn’t think of anything. I could have done “X” and “Y” or something like that but I didn’t think of it at the time. Besides, I’m not sure if I want to use temporary placeholders. I want to come up with the names, or some sort of identifiers now.

The characters’ main trait is that they are immortal. I’m going with the stock heterosexual relationship between them, so I need a male and female name. Are there any names that could potentially reflect immortality, or perhaps loving somebody forever? Other traits that I’m incorporating are selfishness, desire and despair. Other elements of the story include mind uploading and becoming shunned by society. There’s more but I don’t want to give too much of the story just yet, especially as I’m still formulating it.


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