Naming Characters

Project Personify — Andromeda and Mauna Kea

5 Quick Tips for Kicking Butt and Taking Names

1. There are lots of websites that can help when searching for character names. I personally prefer Nameberry (has a ‘Namehunter’ that generates names based on your input), Behindthename (is great if you want a certain origin for a name, they have everything), and Sheknows (is like Behindthename, but allows you to skip to the letter you want the name to start with) when searching for names. All three offer the origin and meaning of the names you search.

2. The country and era is important to remember when naming a character; keeping names accurate for these two things help the reader believe the character is actually there and, vicariously, so are they

3. Not everyone has to do this, but I like trying to think of nn when choosing names for characters (I seriously give everyone a nn, even if I never use it in the book); sometimes a nickname might fit better than the full name or you might just like it more.

4. Think about what your character represents, what their beliefs are, and what their personality is like; sometimes you can find fitting names that relate to those things.

5. Put yourself in your character’s shoes. In their situation, would you want the name you gave them? This helps if you’re stuck between names or aren’t sure if the name you chose fits the character.

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