Monday, February 20, 2017

How Do You Name Your Characters?

I agree with this somewhat. But I must admit I did have trouble coming up with names for my story. I did not want to use real names to avoid possible legal issues later, should getting published became reality. 

Sometimes I wonder why I chose some names I find myself using--something I'm wondering about the character for the new story I have begun. When coming up with fake names for the people mentioned in my memoir, I thought the same thing. I have some I really like, such as Bob and Tina. But I knew I could not use those names all the time (but did use each one once). I'm trying to avoid using the same name more than once unless it's absolutely necessary to the story. Just to avoid confusion.

I often wonder how all the greatest authors came up with their character names. Those who are currently writing--how do you come up with names?


  1. I'm very careful to not use names of real people. If they are bad, I try to use common names or a name made up or extinct. Rootsweb can be another source of names. I still follow the rule of mating a given name to a different surname in respect to the original owner of the name. I know invariably someone will have the name. It is making sure I don't deliberately use someone's name.

  2. I sometimes go to online lists based on popularity, time period, ethnic background, etc.

  3. That's a good question! I have a spreadsheet called "Names" that has a list of female, male, and last names. I originally filled it with names I saw on "top baby names" lists for the year my characters would have been born. Now I add to it, though, with names I hear that I like.