Preptober: Naming Characters

Since I’m working on my characters this week, I thought this would be a perfect time to talk about character names

There’s no bigger time waster than trying to think up the absolute perfect name for your character. I’ve done it all—scoured baby name books, scanned the phone book (when those were a thing), skulked around naming websites and generators.

Oops there goes another few hours when I could have been writing!

The thing is…names are actually important. Would Han Solo seem as cool if he were Linus Smithers (no offense to any Linus Smithers out there)? Would Napoleon Dynamite have been just as quirky if he were called John Smith? And doesn’t Sarah Conner just sound so much more badass than Francis Williams?

So, names are important, but when I’m in the depths of NaNoWriMo, I don’t want to have to be worrying about naming every random character that pops up, or worse, renaming characters that I should have had figured out already.

That’s why I’ll be spending a little time today on character names. I know already that I will need names for my two main characters plus their exes. I also need a name for the female MC’s grandmother—and probably other family besides.

That’s what I have so far, but new characters popping up while writing the first draft isn’t just a possibility; It’s a near certainty. To make things a little easier on myself, I’m going to be compiling a list of names that I like and can choose from, should the need arise. This is something I have done in the past—and boy do I wish I remembered where I put those old lists because that would be a time saver right now! But making the list is kind of fun so I don’t really mind doing it again.

Any recommendations on name generators or other naming websites? I’ve used a variety of them in the past, but I haven’t found one that I stick to. Although, I do tend to return to Fantasy Name Generators more often than not. If anyone has a good recommendation, I’m always happy to hear it!

Thanks for reading.

Published by Robin J

I’m an aspiring novelist who hasn’t quite figured out this whole writing thing. I’ve been scribbling down stories since I was a little kid, but only dared to dream that I could write something worth reading as I became an adult. At 33, I still feel like I have a lot of progress to make before I’m ready to try publishing, but I’m getting better every day. Typically I write Fantasy (of both the Adult and YA varieties), but I have dipped my toe in Romance and Sci-Fi. When coming up with a story to write, all I care about is that the plot grabs my attention and the characters tug at my heartstrings. The genre is an afterthought. I tend to set myself lofty goals. Mostly I fail, but occasionally I surprise myself and succeed. Either way, I enjoy being pushed beyond the limits of what I thought I could do. That’s what I’m hoping to accomplish with the Milwordy challenge. I may or may not reach the full million words, but I know I’m going to learn a lot along the way. I hope you will, too!

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