Names. Everyone has a struggle choosing them. New parents. New puppy owners. But most importantly… writers. How do you choose the perfect name that sums up your wonderful character in one word?
Well, today I’ve got 5 tips for you on how to choose a name for that book character who really wouldn’t appreciated being named ‘-Fill in the blank when I get an idea-‘.
- Random letter: One method I use is to pick a random letter and then think of as many names I can think of beginning with that letter. I’m almost guaranteed to think of a good name. Also, try to choose a letter that goes with your character. There’s no easy way to tell what letter is good for what kind of person (it usually varies for everyone), but I generally try to think of what I think of upon hearing that letter. For example, when I hear A, I think of a nice, bubbly, energetic person. Someone who loves yellow and has brown hair… Just something like that.
- People around you: Something else that helps you with choosing names is to think of people around you. Maybe someone you know has a name you really like, has a personality like your character, or looks like our character. For example, in one of my short stories I had twins that I really wanted to name, but I couldn’t think of what names I could use… then I visited my friend for advice, and right as I walked through the door, her little twin sisters ran up to say hello. And I immediately knew what to name my characters.
- Mythology: Some of the best names, in my opinion, are found in Greek and roman mythology. Like my favorite name, Icarus. I adore this name, and I got it from the famous Greek story about Icarus and his father who had wings. Something like that… But just look through any book you can find of Greek mythology and I guarantee some great names are to be found there!
- History: In addition to mythology, history has some pretty great names! Angelica Schuyler (American Revolution), Antoinette (French Revolution), or Florence (One of The First Ladies). I love old names, so history is one of my favorite spots to search for names.
- Baby name books: Now, I know what you’re thinking… Baby name books?! But, seriously, guys, these things are a lifesaver. There are sections with names from different cultures, different meanings for names, and more. My immediate go-to is nameberry, a free baby name website. You can search for names by initial, ending with __, meaning, culture, and more. It’s a pretty great website with a lot of options for the confused parent… and writer!
Well, that’s all I have for now. Check back later this week for more awesome posts and writing tips, and good luck with your character naming!