What's in a Name?
Updated: Apr 28, 2020
Choosing a name for your character is in many ways like naming your own child. There is a lot of thought and consideration that goes into the process. It not only has to suit the character but also the theme of your story. Here are a several aspects to consider throughout the naming process:
· Does the character come from a certain family or ancestral line?
· What is the etymology of the first name or surname?
· Does the city, town, or country of origin affect it?
· Do the character’s family ties require s/he to have an alias?
· Does the character’s name represent a personality trait or a personal story?
· What is the meaning behind it?
· What message are you trying to convey to the reader with it? Is it meant to be a clue or a ruse?
· Does the character represent or pay homage to someone you know in real life?
· Should the name be common or unique (depending on the culture, region, family, etc.)?
· What does its popularity or lack thereof signify?
· What are the different spellings or pronunciations?
· Is the name shortened?
· Is it totally different from the character’s formal name?
· Does it relate to some other type of meaning or a personality trait?
· Who came up with it, and what was their motivation?
· Do you want to pay homage to a mythical story, element, or legend?
· Is the character based off of a particular lore?
· How similar should the name be to your inspiration?
· Is it coincidence, or is it fate? If you want to be a little unconventional and take a chance, use a name generator or scroll through a book of baby names. You might land on a name that clicks.
How have you come up with character names? Share your suggestions in the comments!