Tips For Writers For Choosing Character Names

482342151Many writers find themselves agonizing for hours over the appropriate character names for their stories. They understand the importance of the right name to convey who their characters are, but don’t know how to figure out the right names. Sometimes, it can be a real drag because you have the feeling that you can’t move on and keep writing. Again, you won’t be managing your time wisely if you spend a lot of time thinking about your character name. However, choosing character names shouldn’t be a daunting process if you understand a few character-naming tips.  Without much ado, here are five tricks that you can use to help you perfect the art of coming up with more character names you like—faster:

Try Random Name Generator

This is a great tool. All you need to do is to choose your character gender and whether you want a common, average, or a rare name. You will be surprised about what you get.

Borrow From Ancient Civilizations

Ancient names will give your character some flair and sense of mystery. Figure out the geography and the history of your plot when you are looking for character naming inspirations from ancient civilizations.

Capitalize On Nicknames

Try to give your characters some silly monikers that sound like them. Some of the most common examples include:

• Tick and vex from Lost Girl

• Jack Limberleg from Kate Milford’s  The Boneshaker

• Tiny Doom and Nini Mo from Flora Segunda series

Play With Sounds And Syllables

You can also play with those hard-hitting dental consonants to make your character appear tough.

Keep a record of character names you like

Make a list of some of the favorite names you’ve heard or jot them down whenever you hear them. You can use some of the names straight from your list. To ensure that you pick the best name, ask yourself what you like about a particular name to get a better sense of how you want your character name to sound.

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4 comments
  1. While I like your suggestions, my protagonists always have names that were born of reason and thought – on the part of their fictional parents. Yes, I’m that into backstory. Thus, each character name has a story – unless the character really doesn’t deserve a complicated back story. Like the idea of keeping a list!

  2. acbrandt said:

    Good tips. I’m always obsessive about my names and have a hard time moving the story along if they don’t feel right. I’ll be using some of these ideas!

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