For some writers, naming characters is crucial. Of course all characters need a name, but it has to be the perfect name for your character. The one that rings just right; that really gets across the spirit and personality of your character.
The name that you choose for your character is going to affect how your readers perceive them. They might find the name unusual, cool or even typical and plain. Sometimes when you’re skimming over possible character names, you come across ones that remind you of someone you don’t like. Sometimes you really like the name but it doesn’t suit your character. Other times you don’t even know where to start.
Here are some strategies for finding awesome character names.
- Use a phonebook: Any address book or phone directory will work. Scanning names of random individuals can give you some great names.
- Use character traits and personality: Keep these things in mind when selecting a name. Jot down some personality traits of your character and some names. What kind of personality traits and images does that name evoke? How would an Andrea act? What would she like to do in her spare time?
- Search for unique and interesting names: You might not want to name your character Apple like Chris Martin did with his baby, but a name a little out of the norm makes your character unique and distinct from others. Hermione is a little more interesting than a name like Sue, for example. This is all a matter of taste; someone might like the name Sue. But being creative with names makes characters more interesting.
- Choose a name that you like: Most importantly, you have to be comfortable with the name you chose for your character. You have to like it, and like the fact that the name appropriately represents your character.
Are character names important to you?