Monday, September 20

Writing Resources for Naming Your Characters

Have you ever checked out one of those legendary fantasy books in which the wonderful characters can get total control over any living being simply by discovering their true and real name? Ive checked out about ten of those books.

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What do you believe is more difficult, the fact that authors continue to utilize this guideline of magic (even though its ready and worn out to be retired) or the impressive number of distinct names that writers create for all the characters in these stories?

Dubworthy or Dubless?

But heres a better concern. How does an author come up with a name like that?

I have been known to spend hours contemplating names and wondering how a writer managed to select a name that so perfectly fit a character, particularly characters that are renowned: Holden Caulfield, Harry Potter, Hamlet, Hanibal Lechter. Exceptional character names can likewise be found in movies, comic books, and on TV.

You do not.

Think about the most well-known, memorable, and engaging characters. They have names that are unforgettable, names that resonate with the characters energy: Bond.

The Name is the Game

What do I do when my fiction writing shenanigans require me to name a character? Well, if Im currently in the throes of making up prose, I generally compose the characters names generically and in all caps:

I cant prevent calling forever. The story is never ended up until everyone is called, and I cant get really deep into the tale when Im working with nameless characters. So I do what any resourceful author does. I turn to my handy-dandy composing resources.

WOMAN is strolling down the street and freezes when she spots ANIMAL sitting in the middle of the road.

Go into, Internet

Ive googled kid names and lady names, exotic names, and androgynous names. Ive done it in reverse too, and browsed for names by their significance. Ive gotten lucky a few times and discovered just the best name for a character. You can likewise find online tools that create character names, which is remarkable if you can utilize a name like Magaga Dawntracker.

Name browsing ended up being a significant time-suck for me. And fiction writing started to feel more like climbing Mount Everest than an imaginative experience.

I utilize an online dictionary and thesaurus. And when I need a name, Ive engaged the power of Google (a search engine that happens to have a fantastic name of its own).

You experience a bunch of amazing names for potential characters, but you might not discover the perfect name for the character that needs a name instantly. I guess the benefit is that all those names you come across might stimulate ideas for other characters, but what about the character youve already created? The one whose lack of a name introduced you into this mission in the first place?

And after that one day, I was gladly searching through my favorite local and independent bookstore, and this book popped out at me:

A World of Baby Character Names

You must seriously consider getting this book or one like it if you have a hard time with calling characters the way I do.

Even though this was the first book of names that I discovered, I checked out numerous others before buying this one. Ive utilized this book a lot.

Okay, so technically, the title of this book is A World of Baby Names. Im not calling any babies. This is strictly about naming characters.

What I like finest about it is that the names are separated by native land. And there are heaps of names in this book that my American self has never ever heard before. I can take a look at the Hindu names and the Polish names, which is exceptional for composing a story with a diverse cast of characters.

Theres a thorough index, so I can scroll through every name in a few minutes– an excellent approach for finding a name that pops out at me. I can then navigate to the name page and learn what it implies. Each section likewise consists of a written intro about names in various cultures, which is quite cool.

A Few, Final Tips and Resources for Naming Characters

Readers of Writing Forward have made loads of excellent tips for character-naming resources:

Go to Behind the Name to browse names and their meanings. You can browse by gender and/or nationality.
Keep a special note pad (or a page/section in your notebook) just for names. Make certain you take down fascinating names whenever you come throughout them, and when you require a name, youll have your own bank from which to withdraw!
Do you have a cell phone or tablet? Look for “child identifying” or “character identifying” apps. Idea: check the ratings and check out the evaluations to make sure you select the best apps available.
Wish to pick names based upon statistics and data? The U.S. Social Security Administration shows most popular names by year, state, territory, and years. Perfect for characters in historical fiction!

A Rose By Any Other Name


How do you come up with character names? What are some of your all-time preferred character names? (heres a question for the most imaginative souls out there), can you think of any other great uses for a baby name book, other than calling infants and imaginary characters?

You encounter a bunch of remarkable names for prospective characters, but you may not discover the ideal name for the character that needs a name right away. (heres a concern for the most innovative souls out there), can you believe of any other good usages for an infant name book, other than calling infants and imaginary characters?

I have been known to invest hours wondering and contemplating names how an author handled to pick a name that so perfectly fit a character, especially characters that are renowned: Holden Caulfield, Harry Potter, Hamlet, Hanibal Lechter. Ive googled kid names and lady names, unique names, and androgynous names. You can also find online tools that produce character names, which is amazing if you can use a name like Magaga Dawntracker.


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