Here's the list
3. How do you come up with names, for characters (and for places if you're writing about fictional places.
I'll mostly address original fiction here...since I tend to pattern my characters on real people, either in my life or celebrities, I'll often use some variation on their names or give the character the same initials. For years, all my
My favorite name I ever gave a character was Dusty Teal, which reflects the fact that I used to spend a lot of time reading the Lands End catalogue just to snark the color names.
For fanfic, I try to keep the OC's down to a minimum so it doesn't come up very often, but I've been known to steal "real names" from friends and family, only to get busted, and thus I've stopped doing that. For OC's in fanfic, my one goal is to make the names sound valid for the fandom in question, both by time and place. There's no real method except to immerse myself in the fandom and come up with a name that works and hasn't been used in canon.
It's very rare that I need to create a place, although I've made up a few restaurants, bars and pubs over the years. Again, just try to keep it true to the time and place. I written a few books with a place called the Blue Bus in Santa Monica which has served as both a karaoke bar and a piano bar. I have this weird theory that the Blue Bus has been a bar in Santa Monica forever because it's the end of the line for the Blue Bus in LA and that when Jim Morrison sang "Meet me at the Blue Bus" in The End, that's what he was talking about.