Naming Characters

When you are World Building, setting a plot, and creating characters how do you chose names for all your characters?

The only part of creating characters I struggle with is naming them. How do you guys name your characters?

Do you think of them or do you use things like name generators?

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sometimes I think of them. Sometimes they came from playing with sounds until I liked them. Sometimes they are variations of common names. … and sometimes for the last i will run a name generator (I like behind the name, personally)

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I actually get a lot of my names from this site:

http://www.magicbabynames.com/

That’s because generally my MCs name is easy. Once I have that, I want names that go with it for the rest of the characters. So I put the MCs name into the ‘names like’ section and then scroll through male/female (depending on the characters) and unisex names to see if there’s one I like. If there isn’t, I change spelling or click on a different name to see what comes up.

It’s kind of like clicking on related videos on Youtube, except with names. There are always some interesting results!

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Personally, I don’t usually use name generators unless I want a name with a meaning in a language that already exists. Otherwise, I make up names from scratch. I do strange, many different things to come up with names…

I may take parts of preexisting names or words and mash them together, may look at something random and make a name around it, may make a sound and go with a name around it, make take whole sentences and make a name around it, and many more things. All of which I have actually used for names.

And if I’m not using a name in that moment, I put it aside in a computer/handwritten document to keep for future characters, names and places. Even races and species!

I also recommend http://www.behindthename.com/ and https://surnames.behindthename.com/ for given and last names respectively. You can even add entries!

I hope that’s helpful, somehow!

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I recently got spam mail signed by Jaysen … I hijacked that name immediately.
I recently met a Scottish man by the name Alasdair and I fell in love with that name.
Life’s a random name generator.:face_with_monocle:

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I name my characters early in the process. I’m not one to give them place holder names, though I know writer who do.

I know my characters enough to know what meaning I want for their name, then I use either http://www.behindthename.com/ or I’ll use Google Translate and use foreign words for their names. Sometimes I’ll change the spelling of the word to disguise where I got the name or to make them easier to sound out or say. I can’t usually pronounce all the words.

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Creating names for characters is pretty easy for me. Once I get a certain idea of who they are (hobbies/interests, motivations, what they look like), I figure out a name for them. Or look at pics of famous figures I’m unfamiliar with and my brain gives them a name.

unnamed

For my character at the moment, her name is Joanna Bloom. This picture of a lead singer from a group I like (they’re called The Chromatics; the girl’s name is actually Ruth) gave me the inspiration of her.

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Real life is a great source. I was at a racetrak two days ago and a car sponsor was “Liquid Larry’s”. That got thrown into the compost notebook as soon as I got home.

I keep track of names across all stories because I tend to reuse initial letters too much. Mary, Martha, Matilda, Mark, Michael, etc.

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I’m with the “J” 's … Jason, Jake, Jack, Jesús, Joel, Jayson, Judith, Jacob (of course :smiley: ), Jeffrey, Jeff, Janice, Jenna and Jane …

I might need help … :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

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Mine are the As… Alexander, Aliana, Audrey, Adria, Amy…

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Either the names will come to me as I create the character, or I’ll use a baby name book. Naming characters is one of my favorite parts, so I like to get creative with them, and often make up my own. It’s also fun to use a baby name book to find a name’s meaning, and then base that character off of the meaning or vice versa. :upside_down_face:

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I, too, am looking up names and their meanings a lot for my writings. HOWEVER, never ever can my mum find me with an actual baby name book in hand, so I only do that online … :joy:

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:laughing: :joy:

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Lol, as a teen I have to clear my search history because of that. (Didn’t even though they had actual baby making books).

It’s also weird when I search up baby mannerism and “how to take care of a baby” for when I try to make my work more realistic.

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It depends, really. There are times where I use a name generator, but only for side characters. I usually create names that don’t exist (since I write fantasies). But you could try taking an ordinary, common name and change the spelling. For example, “Jon” instead of “John”, or “Myke” instead of “Mike”, “Meri” instead of “Mary”.

Anyways, I hope this helps!

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For fantasy, I use a base language.
If my kingdom is snowy, I might use Finnish or Norwegian and type “bearded person” or “from the water” depending on what the character likes to do and such. Then I jumble the translation about,

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I keep a note pinned in Google keep for this reason. Every so often I just see or hear a name I like and add it to the list. Jaysen is definitely on the list now.

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I’ve used that name for myself in games! Obsessed with it. So much more interesting than Jason, though I’ve also used that name (a general obsession is with names that start with a ‘J’).

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Got another idea as I was watching a Marvel movie. Check out names in movie credits! There are tons of names and lots of ideas.

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I’m addicted to A names too, though I have learned to spice things up without making it seem like everyone is in alphabetical order.

I can’t recall ever using a name generator for my characters; usually, I think really hard about who I want them to be and see what kind of name I feel encapsulates their personality. A lot of feeling and intuition go into my character naming.

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