Wednesday, April 23, 2014


NAME: a word or set of words by which a person, animal, place, or thing is known, addressed, or referred to.

EXAMPLE:  "What is your name?" Brian asked the young lady.
"My name is Elizabeth, but you can call me Beth."

QUOTE:  I call everyone 'Darling' because I can't remember their names.  Zsa Zsa Gabor 

If we don't want everyone to call our characters Darling, we need to come up with a great name.

There are many ways. You can simply pick your favorite name or you can go through phone books, high school yearbooks or baby name books.

Those are easy ways to do it.

If you write scifi, you could use mythological names or combine two names. 

Click here for a unique word mixer site. You provide the words and they mix them up for you.

Be sure and pick appropriate names for the time period. Pick age appropriate names.

Mix your favorite names together. Make your name easy to pronounce. You don't want people stumbling over your names while reading your book. Use same initials. Watch out what the initials of your character's name spell out - I think you know what I mean. 

Avoid overused names. 

Use Biblical or family names. Here is a different idea - go to cemeteries and look at names on tombstones.

Click here for a great site for finding the meaning of names. 

Click here for lists of the top five names for the past 100 years.

Here is an idea. Look at old military records. 
Rosters from wars can be found online and in libraries.

How do you come up with names for your characters?

Posted by

     Janet Smart
                on Creative Writing in the Blackberry Patch.


  1. Like choosing a name for your baby, names of characters are so important. Not being sure of a character's name pronunciation is a huge pet peeve of mine. And it happens more than it should...even in MG.

    1. I agree with you. I don't like reading stories where I have trouble pronouncing the names.

  2. This sure is an interesting posting, Janet. Great suggestions to look for names. I will use your suggestions when I write another story. I have problems selecting names for characters.

    1. Hi Brenda. I have trouble selecting names sometimes, too.

  3. Great suggestions, Janet! I used to know of a website that was full of uncommon first names, but I don't remember now. Your ideas are the best!

    1. Hi Becky. I'm glad you enjoyed the post.

  4. I love the naming process. I often use baby name books and websites, and the social security records for what names were popular in a given year.


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