How do you come up with names for your characters? And when you come up with them, how do you make them believable?
I recently watched the movie Gentleman Broncos, which I highly recommend to anyone who has ever:
a) Been homeschooled
b) Been to a local writer's workshop for young people
c) Had a Writer in Residence at your school
Seriously. This shit is so accurate I had tears streaming down my face while I was watching it.
There is a scene pictured above where the famous science fiction author at the writers' workshop, Chevalier, describes to a group of young writers how to create "believable" fantasy/sci fi names. Chevalier has been lecturing them on how if you add "anous" or "ainous" to any name, it becomes... magical, when one small girl raises her hand. She says that she has a troll in her book named Teacup, and Chevalier chastises her because it's not believable enough.
"It's just that I'm...as an author, picturing myself as a troll mother. I have just given birth to a litter of troll cubs, they're covered in placentia, pawing at my many teats, for this vital, life giving collostrum... Now I'm not thinking...hmmm...Teacup, am I?!"
Fair enough, Chevalier ;). Fair enough.
My question to you is: How do you come up with names for your character, and how do you keep them from edging into the ridiculous, like Harry Manchester, Werewolf Bounty Hunter?
What's your secret formula?