How do you name your characters?

Heya while chatting with one of my Wattpad friends @universe_beholder I learned that we both used similar technique in how we name our characters. I like to Google names and their meanings. For example in my story Arlan’s Promise, the name Arlan actually means oath.

How do you guy’s name your characters?

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My characters in my Wattpad WIP are regular people with regular names, but when I’ve needed exotic names, I’ve gone to a couple of good sources:

  1. Maps of Alaska - you can twist some native names into something nobody’s ever heard of.

  2. I googled the names of Napoleon’s generals for a story set in that period in Europe and it was a gold mine.

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I would agree that I google meanings for character names a lot. For me, I have a protagonist named Adira, meaning “strong” because she’ll need to overcome a lot of obstacles and a supporting character named Galen after a famous Roman physician. There’s also a bit of symbolism with that character and the Greek god Apollo.

However, I have borrowed names for organizations (not characters) from scientific names for plants. For example, the genus of strangler figs (which are parasitic plants that choke out trees typically in rain forests by growing on top of them) is ficus, so the antagonistic culture in my current novel is named the “Fica.”

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Sometimes they just come to mind. Other times, I think about their personalities and character traits and then google it. i.e. If a name doesn’t immediately come to mind about a girl who is quiet and humble and likes nature, I start googling names related to those elements and search until one fits.

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My mind or online.

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i usually name characters by thier era like if i am writing a story in the medivial era i will name my character Aiora but if it is more modern I will name my character Judy or something modern.

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I also used Google, but not looking for meaning of the names, but more the sound of them.
For example I googled ‘Celtic names’ and skimmed through the list in search of male and female names that I felt go nicely with my story :slight_smile:

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Wow that’s awesome!

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Is that actually a really plant or is it fictional?

Nice!

What kind of names have you thought up?

I see what you mean,it would be a bit unorthodox to have a name like Judy in a medival story

How do you know how to pronounce them?

Fairly common names or names from a distant memory.

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yes haha
thxx

Naming characters, especially when you write fantasy, can be craaazy. I like it when my character’s name means something relevant to their personal story. But there are no hard and fast rules. There’s a popular writer who names some of his characters by choosing the surname of a historical hero and first name of a current politician. I also heard of someone who uses a random word from the front of a dictionary as a first name and a word from the back of the dictionary as a last name. But obviously you don’t want your m/c to be Abacus Xylophone (Abby for short :rofl:). I guess, sometimes you get it right away, other times you just have to Google for 3 days straight

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So I wrote my story in Polish first, so I just pronounce them as I would a Polish word :slight_smile: Now I’m translating the story to English, so I follow the English pronunciation (does not mean it’s the right way to go though), but I assume the readers will anyway pronounce as they want…
Also, the names I picked do not seem very complex - for example ‘Ansgar’ (I gave this name to one of the kings in my story).

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I used to have systems in place for this but now mostly I just think of something that sounds cool and run with that, I suppose.

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Name character used to so hard for me tho :rofl: :rofl: Why you guy could name them so easily?

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I tried to name mine after either members of my family or names I’ve liked from the tv shows that I watched.

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