Fantastic Names

I love names in books. They shape the character and how the reader feels about them. Where do you get your names for your writng?

Believe it or not, my character name searches started out with baby name searches. Our church is famous for lots of kids and big families, and so it was a challenge finding names that every other parent hadn’t already used. I started combing the web and books and anything I could find to name my kids. I wanted names that meant something too, not just cool-sounding names that meant “A man” or “field of squash” or something like that. My kids names mean “One who rejoices”, “Behold how beautiful” and “A gift set aside for God”. That’s what I mean.

Well when we decided that we shouldn’t have any more kids, I had a giant list of names left over. My hubby was very picky and there were lots of names there I loved but he hated. (I also hated the names he loved so we were even.)

But he doesn’t get to name characters in my books! Nyah!

My go-to site for character names is now All the names from The Lustre, I found here using the “enter a meaning” search. They have to sound like the character I am describing too, so often I spend quite a while searching.

How do you decide on your character names?

Categories: Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “Fantastic Names

  1. When using conventional names, it has lots to do with backgrounds, culture, etc, then I decide what literally feels right. Unconventional on the other hand and in other words plain old made up, I literally look down at my keyboard, pick a letter and form sounds, which turn into words, until I find something I like ^^.

    • Sometimes I worry that my made-up names sound like an elementary school kid made them up, so I usually change them to something that means something or a hybrid of that.

      • Good plan :). That’s one of the things I tend not to worry about though. If I love the way it sounds on my ears, then I’m good ^^.

  2. Usually it takes me a long time until I pick the names. Sometimes I can’t continue the story until I find them. I imagine dialogue between characters and how would they address each other. I keep trying until I find the ones that sound best and fit their personalities. Once I have the names, the story flows (even better if I can find photos that resemble my heroes).
    I had this character popping in my head (a hairstylist, turned dancer, if you can imagine!!!), blond and fair skin, but her scene name was….Salome. A Salome to me looks dark, black hair, olive skin tone. Of course we ended up arguing, but since the story wasn’t ready to be out on the paper, Salome said, ‘We aren’t done yet.” Oh well! It won’t be the first time I have a disagreement with my heroes, and God forbid–they’d ever do what I want. It’s always what they want. Sigh…

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