Naming Characters


An important part of characters is naming. So, how do you decide on what to name your character?

It’s perfectly fine to name your character for someone you know, but understand that the person may think that you’re directly writing about him or her.

You don’t have to have a modern or invented name, even if you’re writing fantasy or YA. It’s ok, but not everyone has to be named after a gemstone, a nature name or something androgynous.

Baby name books or websites are great for characters.

If you’re writing historical fiction, make sure your name is accurate for the times. Great sources of names are census information, family history, or by doing a web search for the most popular names from the decade of your character’s birth. For example, “most popular boy’s name from 1900” will supply you with a variety of ideas.

For the ease of your readers, it’s better if your characters’ names are differentiated so that they are not easily confused. This includes not having names that all start with the same letter or ones that are too close in endings. For example, naming your characters Amanda, Ashley, Anna and Anne can confuse your readers.

Sometimes naming your characters can supply a source of extra information or insight into their personalities or the plot. For example, a character may be given a name for what the name means.

It’s also important to name your characters in a way that is fitting of their station in life, ethnicity and background.

How do you name your characters?

My best to you all,

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