Tuesday, July 26, 2016

How to: Character Names

I don't have much trouble coming up with character names. Yes, let's just throw that out on the table for starts. I'm actually kinda surprised with how much trouble people seem to have coming up with character names.

I don't even live in an English-speaking country so I don't have access to all the cool names in English-speaking countries.

Maybe that's why I can come up with them? *big shrug* idk.

But anyway, here are some ways I come up with character names (without too much further ado)

1. What letter of the alphabet haven't I used for a character name?

When I come up with a name,

I tend to use "T", "C", "L" a LOT and idk why. Let me give you some examples.
Trixie
Cherlene
Laula
Chris
Tarak
Lorianne
etc.

So you see.

My main character in my story starts with a "B" and the other one starts with a "V" and these names came up because I was thinking now, what letter haven't I used?

So, go through the alphabet and use a letter that you have never used for an MC or just a background character. I tend to not use "I", "M", "J", "H", "R", "V", "X" or "Q". The last two are mainly because it's just so hard to come up with names like that other than Xavier or Quinta (BuzzFeed reference, hey Quinta! :D )


2. Look up Baby Names List on Google.

Yep. I do that. And don't be shy guys! It's a GREAT way to come up with that perfect name for your character. If you already know what you want your character to be like (personality, likes and dislikes, looks, gender), then you can look for the name that gives off that vibe.

Trixie - sounds like a playful name and yes, my character is a playful easy-going person.

Lorianne - sounds like a girl that is a bit of a narcissist but she has a big sister vibe and, though that character ended up not being, she was that sort of girl.

Sorry if this offended anyone, I'm not trying to stereotype names but sadly that's how characters often end up being...in the beginning, anyway, don't worry.


3. IF YOU WANT TO BE ORIGINAL. like me *smiles* then you need to sound it out.

Yes, sound it out like you're a two-year-old learning how to say a word.

Lerrroooiiiiaannee??? Lorianna? Lorrrianne? Lorianne?

Look at the spelling, does it feel right? Cherleen? No, Cherlene? Hmm...

Also when you sound it out, go for the letter that feels like your character. Does that even make sense?

This character feels like a "C" name character. C like the hard sound? Like Chorad? Or C like the soft sound? Cha...Cer...Cie...er...

No, this person is a leader like figure. But is nice...Chris? Yeah.


4. MIX and MASH. After looking up baby names in Google.

I do this sometimes when I want my character to have a name that people will recognize but that is original or looks like it belongs in that world.

For example,

James
John

Hm..Jamon? Johesseeeyaaa Joseya? Johseya?

See how I mixed them and sounded them out, trying to get it name-ish?

Don't believe me ask the dishes! (Beauty and the Beast reference)

Let's do another.

Irelene
Maddy

Irmalene? Madrene? Lenrima? Rimaly? Rimalee? Leema? Madalee? Maleena?

See, it doesn't even need to be the first letters. Flip it upside down and put it inside out and make an AWESOME SAUCE name! (iiSuperwomanii reference)


WARNING!

If you are writing a FANTASY story that involves multiple characters as the main part of the storyline, I suggest you have few recurring characters, the most up to five or six, because it is so frickin confusing with so many. If each chapter is switching...well, we'll talk about that in another post.

If you are writing some other genre, mostly mystery or horror, it is best to use names that are easy for people to recognize. The reason is that these characters are like a minor part and the main part of the story is the plot line itself. I'm saying this from a non-professional view point so you don't HAVE to follow through with it. But I have noticed that in horror MOVIES, main characters have very simple names because the story itself is intense and you don't want to have to figure out if Leema was the guy or the girl every time they focus on the character.

So I hear Mary, John, Susan, Henry, and all those nice and juicy common names.


Okay, I hope you have gone to look up baby names for your story and tried some of the methods as you come to the end here, prolific reader :)

Happy Writing! :D

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