The article Character Names: 5 Tips That Help Novelist Pick Great Character Names emerged first on The Write Practice.
Do you spend hours searching for the excellent honour for your main character? Do you prefer more common refers for you entire given, but too don’t want a honour to be boring?
Perhaps you lean on inspiration when wording your story’s people. You opt for a family name. Maybe you attract a random figure out of a hat or use a reference epithet generator.
Maybe you’re completely stumped when it comes to naming your story’s personas, but you’re too sick of spending hours stewing over them–you precisely want to know how to come up with a catchy call fast. One that will be a popular name with your books, a mention that will stay with them as much as J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter cast stick with hers.
Whatever version of this word examining brought you to this post, one happening is certain: Names — fictional character words or their lists of parties in real life — are a big deal.
Parents-to-be pore over baby name books for months looking for that “perfect” name. Even naming a baby can take time. You want the word to be perfect, to mean something, to be unique but not too “weird.”
Naming a reputation, especially in a longer piece of writing, can be just as agonizing and is definitely just as important.
Luckily, I’ve come up with five tips on identifying personas to help you with these important decisions in your writing process.
What’s in a Name?
Harry Potter. Bilbo Baggins. James Bond. Katniss Everdeen. Boo Radley.
I’d wager a lot of favorite diaries that you knew one or more of these figures. Why? Because they stand out.
And while most courages in a volume won’t address another person by their full reputation, it’s important that you, as “the authors “, feel that the name fits your character’s personality and world.
Consider the list Bilbo or Frodo Baggins. It’s unlikely that pre Tolkien and The Lord of the Rings you would bump into a person appointed by either Bilbo or Frodo. But these peculiar reputations laboured in these beloved floors because Middle Earth is a fantasy world, and unfamiliar refers like these are perfectly normal in a journal where hotshots stray and hobbits are living in the Shire.
( Although a small term of carefulnes: at a writing discussion, I did have a literary agent tell me that she elevates it when the readers can declare mentions. So if you’re a fantasy and/ or sci-fi writer, it’s probably best to adhere to this, even if you use a fantasy name generator that recommends something more difficult to say .)
Real calls or made-up, as the writer, you need to use calls that prepare your attributes stand out–but also ones that are the right name for your character’s personality, the time period, and the rectify of your story.
Don’t only pick any given name because it reverberates cool. Give the appoint signify, at least for its most important attributes in your book.
Like your own name, you miss each of your extending reference mentions to offer something special.
These five tips-off can help you do precisely that.
“ Fiction writers make mentioning courages seriously, but it’s not always easy. These five tips on wording reputations will help you pick the excellent word. Tweet thisTweet 5 Tips for How to Come Up With Character Names
Writing a romance or short story? Struggling to find the excellent name for your new character?
Try out these tips 😛 TAGEND 1. Character identifies should give penetration into temperaments and characteristics.
A dainty ballerina reputation Beulah probably wouldn’t go over too well with your books, unless you’re trying to be paradoxical. But a ballerina identified Margarite? That constructs sense.
Names hint at character class, field, and dialect. You would probably be hard-pressed to find a Billy Bob living in a highrise overlooking Central Park or a Frasier picking up hay bales on a farm.
I point this out not to encourage you to be stereotypical or cliche, but to highlight how names come with associations. You’ll be fighting against your reader’s inborn beliefs throughout your narrative if you have selected the wrong name.
You can use certain names to intentionally mention social organizations. For example, Igor might oblige readers withdraw Frankenstein or Hester might be associated with The Scarlet Letter. Names like these might be used to pay homage to the classics or to lean certain characteristics in a reader’s mind without having to spell them out.
2. Choose a refer and stick with it.
Nicknames are fine, as is addressing a reference by a last name, particularly in the crime category, but don’t overdo the swapping backward and forward. Your readers will lose track of who you’re talking about.
You need to have a good reason for another character to use a nickname( i.e. their father) or use their last name( i.e. boss ).
And whether or not your person has a nickname or not, it’s best made in accordance with your figure throughout your book–so not to confuse the reader.
So, if the husband in your floor requests his wife ” Darling” and she calls him “Jim Dear” — and the leading character in your tale, say a dog reputation Lady, thinks this is their real name–have that attribute generally call them by that nickname.
Or, in another case, you might have a character who only places another subsidizing character by their nickname, but everyone else calls them by their full name–including the narration in the description.
What’s the purpose of this? It originates a special bond between these two people for one. On the other hand, the time they don’t call them by their nickname will really stand out. It will have spectacular effect.
Think about when a parent full honours “their childrens”, that child knows they’re in trouble.
So if you use a name, be consistent and merely transgress that chain sparingly, intentionally, and for spectacular purpose.
3. Say the name out loud.
Does it roll off your tongue? Does the last name mesh with the first name?
If it’s not easy for you to say, it won’t be easy for your books to read. See my point that emphasizes this above, especially for those fantasy and sci-fi stories.
To get you started on this, don’t be afraid to search girlfriends’ epithets and boys’ mentions online, but likewise don’t fall down the rabbit fault and invest hours moving aimlessly.
A trick I like to use when searching figures is to look them up based on their meaning, or by a first character. This will trim the options and make it easier to pick a handful that you like. Does anything stand out to you now?
Jot down five specifies that you like. Then lead experience a last name and encounter which of the five resonates the best.
4. Avoid starting with the same letter.
Marge, Maggie, and Melinda are fine lists for triplets, but are your books going to be able to tell them apart?
Avoid character mentions that seem similar as well, as your books are less likely to be able to differentiate.
5. Avoid overused and/ or birthing lists.
I think we have all seen fairly Bob Smiths in our lives and our speak. You can go with good’ ole Bob if you’re going for a nondescript persona but try to dig deeper than that if not.
Where to Find Character Names
If you’re anything like me, the honours that pop into your principal are often the same or same to the ones you used in a floor last week. The identifies that first pop into your intelligence are probably those of family members, friends, or people from volumes you’ve recently read.
( Pro tip-off: Don’t implement a family member’s name for a scoundrel. Trust me. It DOES NOT go over well .)
So where can you find unique characteristics specifies?
The first implement in your appoint arsenal should be baby name records and/ or websites. Then there are the five bazillion name generators online. Those are fine arranges to pick up some unique figures, but I prefer to let real life be my inspiration.
You’ll often need first and last names for longer efforts, so be on the lookout. Look at movie ascribes, social media, and street indicates. Keep phone books.( Those are those yellowish things that magically show up on your foyer once a year .) Take observe of any interesting refers for later use.
“The excellent appoint for your new reputation might be scrolling through the recognitions of your favorite movie.Tweet thisTweet Don’t Let Choosing a Name Stagnate You
No, you do not get to use not having a character name as a reasonablenes not to write.
If you can’t think of the perfect call upfront, don’t worry about it! Put a placeholder in there. I tend to use X or ??? because I’m super creative like that. Anything that pokes out and is easy to probe and oust will do.
“Don’t let the absence of the excellent figure stop you from writing. Put in a placeholder, and keep going! Tweet thisTweet
Don’t let call tour you up! The perfect identify will come eventually.
How do you words your reputations? Let me know in specific comments!
Today I miss you to choose a honour from this list 😛 TAGEND
Nestor Ann Marie
Give them a last name if you like.( Remember to avoid over-used last names like Smith .)
Now take fifteen minutes to write from this person’s point of view. Consider starting with: From the time I was a girl, I knew I is increasingly becoming … or Their own families was … or The position from my backdoor on a outpouring morning…
It needn’t be long. If you have time, try out another name.
When you’re done, share your writing in the comments. Don’t forget to comment on your fellow writers’ work!
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