Five Ideas When Stuck For a Name

I’m beginning to work on my new novel and I’m having a hard time naming the characters. So I’m in part writing this in hopes it gives me some brillent ideas, and in part because there are some normal ways that I name characters.

A) Check Facebook: If I have any minor, one scene character that I need a name, my first standby is to go to facebook and begin to browse through my friends’ statuses. I then either take someone’s name, last name, or modified name and use it.

B) Random Name Generator: This is also for the more minor characters. I set it to give me four names at a time, and refresh the page until I find some I like.

C) Search for a Meaning: Again, I go to this wonderful website and I search for some kind of distinguishing characteristic of the character or something, and decide on this. I used to this for every single character, but now I lean more towards my fourth option.

D) Listen to them: This sounds very random but very often some of my best plotting is done via conversations between characters in my head. I got Shad’s name from that, and I got my new character’s name from that exact same conversation technique. There is just this flow of the conversation and the next thing I know, I have a name.

E) Name them after family members/friends: This is really fun, because you can name the villain after your brother or the snotty girl after the snotty girl in your class / at work.

F) If all else fails, do A, B or C. I know, that’s totally unhelpful, but since I’m running out of ideas for naming characters, I think I’m going to need to resort to one of those.

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About Abigail

I'm an elementary education major at a college in the Midwest. I might graduate as early as December '13 but more likely May '14. I write when I can. I also knit on occasion, draw, do homework and contradict teachers to make people think. :)

2 responses to “Five Ideas When Stuck For a Name”

  1. Valerie says :

    This is all great advice! Sometimes I use or think about mythological/classical literary characters when I name someone, but these are also good pieces of advice. Sometimes, I think, the characters kind of name themselves.

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