How to name your characters– Writing Wednesday

Greetings and welcome to Writing Wednesday. If you’re anything like me, you go down rabbit holes that take far too long whilst trying to find the perfect name for your character. And then all your other characters. And then even more characters.

It can take a really long time.

These are some filters that will help narrow down your quest for names, and a couple tips to find the best ones.

Note: I now I’m very late but I’d like to acknowledge that last week was transgender awareness week.

N. 1: Where is your character from?

This one is pretty basic, but good to keep in mind. If your main character is from, say, Brazil, you could always search for names that originate/are common in that place. Of course, this doesn’t always happen but it can definitely help. You can tweak this filter around and have it be about religions, ancestry etc. etc.

N. 2: The meaning of the name

This is great if you want to foreshadow something, or make it more mysterious. For instance, the name Lilith sounds sweet and innocent, but actually translates to ‘night monster’. Eek. But this isn’t only a good filter for the antagonists, this works for everyone. If you had a sidekick, you could look up names that mean ‘protector’, or ‘helper’. You could even do something that reflects someone’s personality.

N. 3: Keep the parents in mind

Again, this one doesn’t always apply, but as an example, if your character has fairly strict and old-school parents, a simpler and older name would make sense.

N. 4: Nicknames?

If your character has a longer, harder to pronounce name, sometimes it’s good to try to find a nickname for them. It also just keeps your fingers from becoming tired πŸ˜›

Tips:

  • Gender neutrality is always a good thing to think about
  • Don’t just pick a names! This happens to me a lot, when I’m scrolling through name websites and I find a good name early on (in the a’s or b’s), so my suggestion is to keep scrolling
  • Don’t overthink it
  • Have fun with them! Name picking is actually weirdly satisfying

I would love to know the names of some of your characters and the background behind them!

2 Comments

  1. Haha I definitely needed this πŸ˜… I can never come up with character names properly- sometimes I use the names of people I have met, and sometimes names that I just spontaneously think of πŸ˜”

    Liked by 1 person

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