One of the most important factors in writing is knowing the names of your characters. You can’t go around without dialogue tags or any way to reference the character in your writing; no one will understand who you’re talking about. The question is how to name them? I have several strategies for assisting with this annoying problem.
1. The first thing that comes to mind.
I’m sure this one feels fairly obvious. You can always name your character the first thing that pops into your head, like Bob. Whether or not it will fit the story/character is another question entirely.
2. Find a random object.
This one is a little odd but can work well. Perhaps you’re looking around the room, and see a Rose, so you name your character Rose. Other times you look around the room and only see a can of Lysol, so you have to get creative with it and make names like Lyson, Lyire, Canof, and more.
3. Find meaning.
Let’s say you have a character who is of Hindu descent and has something to do with the full moon *cough* Full Moon King *cough*. Your best bet is to look up names in that language that mean moon; such as Chandraraj: a male name that means ‘moon king’ in India.
Piggy backing off the last method, you can use a character’s background or culture to name them. Example, a character is known to be from India, so a name from that culture like Sunita is appropriate. Or a character is known to be a princess, so a long name like Princess Maria Belladona Vitoria Estrella Von Vickerson would be fitting.
5. Physical Characteristics
Going more in-depth on using characters for their own name inspiration; often times we can default to a character’s physical attributes to name them. A popular example is Ichigo from bleach. This character has red hair and Ichigo means strawberry in Japanese. A little closer to home is Silver from Full Moon King. I knew I wanted this character to have striking looks, possibly albino back when it was going to be a comic. In true comic fashion I named him after his looks; hence the name Silver.
To go even further with the last point, when making a character we often think about how they would act. Are they funny? Are they hardened? Are they happy-go-lucky? We can use these factors to help determine a name. Example in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic there is a funny character named Cheeze. While in a drama/historical show like The Tudors we have grand names fitting the time and personalities such as Catherine of Aragon.
7. Era/Time Period
This next one is more for a story as a whole. If you are writing a novel in the far future, it may be better to have sleek names or short nicknames like Sky, Velic, Tray, and Red. Whereas, if you are writing a historical novel then you would need older names to reflect that place and time period such as Lady Annomosa, Madam Beatrice, and Sir Johnathan Burtram.
8. Keyboard mash
Vering slightly to more Avangard methods, there is the keyboard mash. Essentially you hit random keys on a keyboard and attempt to make names based off that. For example: kjfgbljsbfn with a few vowels added could become Kifig, Blisb, and more.
9. Odd places for vowels and consonants
This one is taking regular words and swapping out the consonants or vowels for the next available opposite. Example Stacy could become Uubea. Or you can take Amma and change it to Baab. Or even Stacy to Stxcy. It’s all about having fun with the names and structure.
The final way I will discuss is the anagram. I have used this in Full Moon King for a few of my characters. One that stands out the most is Anubis. By rearranging the letters, I got the name Banusi that he uses to keep a low profile. Eventually some characters do break down the name, but most stay unaware. You can use this as a plot point or just for personal knowledge, it’s up to you, you are the writer.
In short, there are many ways to create a name. I just hope these examples have made the process a bit easier.
About the Author: Raven Diamond is the author of God of Gears and Full Moon King exclusively on Mythrill. She is also an award nominated Singer/Songwriter (NAMA 2019 Controlled) and has several comic series on top of published shorts, poems, and novels. She can write in almost any genre and loves redefining the lines of Good and Evil in her stories alongside showing the world from unique perspectives. She loves learning new skills and trying new things. When this jack of all trades isn’t tinkering on inventions or assisting her brother with their company, she likes reading, gaming, and spending time with her family. www.ravendiamond.com