Why Naming Characters is the Actual Worst...and Best

I always have and always will be obsessed with names. They fascinate me. They speak so much to the person, their parents, and the culture they’re a part of.

My future children will have amazing names! Like Calrissian. And Eowyn. And Samwise. And…well, you’ve got the idea. See? Amazing! :D

This obsession with names doesn’t actually help my writing, though. It kinda makes it worse. THE NAMES HAVE TO BE PERFECT!

A writer friend of mine said that I worry more about character names than most parents do with their children, so… **coughs**

But I’m not crazy! I have my reasons for being this way.

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Worldbuilding is a factor

I won’t say that you can’t name the protagonist in your high fantasy novel Kevin—it’s your book, name them whatever you want. But take the genre of book and the setting of your world into account when you’re naming your characters.

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They speak so much to a personality

A rose by any other name, right? Except…maybe not.

Unlike in real life, fictional characters don’t have the luxury of growing into their names. They have to fit with (or be the exact opposite, just for fun!) where they are now or where they’re headed in your story.

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You associate that name with your character

Duh. But hear me out.
Have you ever had someone you dislike completely ruin a perfectly good name for you? You don’t want to resent your character before you’ve had the chance to get to know them!

Don’t use a name you hate…unless you want to kill them off or something. XD

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Names mean things

We all know this…but that doesn’t make it any less true. And while your readers probably won’t know the meaning of your character’s name, it could change the way you feel about the name.

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NAMES HAVE TO LOOK RIGHT!

If you’re reading a book, you don’t want to be pulled out of the story because of a stupid-looking name.
You REALLY don’t want to write that name over and over again.

What makes a name look stupid or pretty? Well, that’s up to you. But for me it’s one of the biggest factors in naming a character.

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What do you worry about the most when you name a character?

Whatever it is, stay tuned—I’ll be sharing some handy character naming tips super soon! <3
In the meantime, check out one of my very favorite resources for finding names, Namberry!