Names Make The Character.

imagesI love names, no matter where they come from.  Part of finding that name comes from the web, my old Baseball Encyclopedia and anything else I can find.  Having a good solid character name is essential for me to create and effective character.  I always say that names make the character and characters make the name.


Skip Pitlock
This is the current Baseball Card I have of Skip Pitlock.  I will never part with it, because it brings back fond memories of Spitlock Jones.

I’ve always been good with names.  The first name I ever came up with was a fictitious pitcher for the Boston Red Sox named Spitlock Jones.  Sounds like a pitcher from the early days of Baseball.  I think I remember how he came about.   I was watching the Red Sox with the television on, not paying much attention and there was a relief pitcher named Skip Pitlock for the Chicago White Sox.  I think he was on the mound and pitching to Red Sox Utility infielder Dalton Jones and I some how merged the two names together.  I thought Skip Pitlock pitched for the Red not the White Sox and I thought his name was Spitlock and the last name Jones.   When I would go outside and throw at my pitch back, I would announce and bring Spitlock in to save the game.  He was as tough as his name.  He was submarine ball pitcher.(I came up with that because of Ted Abernathy, the great closer for the Kansas City Royals.)  He had a nasty screwball and would play chin music with all the hitters.  I collect Baseball cards, I have been since I was little.  One year I got a card of Skip Pitlock.  I was devastated, because I realized right then and there, that Spitlock Jones was not real, I made him up in my head. So I retired Spitlock, he came up with a sore arm and retired.
Most of the time I have the character and then find the name that matches the personality.  The name Ringer, didn’t arrive until I put together an idea for him.  Then the name came.

Abbie Carmichael Angie HarmonFor years I’ve had this great character name, but I’ve never found anything I could use her in.  Then when I began to think of “Third Eye” as a series.  This character for this female character knocked on the  door to my imagination,  took a seat at my computer desk and said, “Hey Peter, you’re wasting my name.  Stop talking about using me and do it.  If you’re worried you can’t figure me out, let me tell you my story and how to utilize me.”  Her name is Jackie Faresis.  I’ve never been able to figure out where the last name came from, it definitely worked with Jackie.  The last name intrigued me.  It was something different.  I think it came from a Professor that taught at New England college, named Larry Farese.  He was a wonderful, nice guy who was a bit of a neat freak and loved to cook and boy could the man cook.  Mostly Italian, because he was.  I think I just lengthened his last name and made it Faresis.  Instead of Italian, I decided she was Greek.   Jackie enters in Episode three and is the new Assistant DA in Boston.  Later she will work her way to Baltimore.  She’s a woman who takes no prisoners and will go as far as she have to for a conviction.  She will be a recurring character and will cause all kinds of problems for Kitty.  Her first few meetings with Drake will not be cordial.  Drake, thinks Jackie’s too career happy and extremely uptight, which she is. I don’t see Jackie as part of the team, because she isn’t.  She’s not a bad character or a good character, she’s gray.  There is a story inside my head.  Shadow and Jackie have a past.  He wants her to get close to Drake to cause some problems.  Eventually Drake will help Jackie out of a jam.  The two become close and start a relationship together.  Drake contemplates marriage, but when Kitty finds out the true reason she is after Drake, that ends it leaving the door open for either Kitty or Harriett.
This all came from a name.  As I said, names make the character and characters make the name.  Always think character and come up with a good name that fits that character.


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