Naming Characters

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

William Shakespeare

When the ideas for a new story start bubbling up in my head, I let the thoughts roll and tumble until they start to take shape.

Once the characters begin to become individual people in my mind, I go into the character naming process.

I need to name the characters to better define who they are, what they look like, how they will play out in the story.

I start with a single letter. Will our hero have a name that starts with a “D” or maybe “R”?

A website I use to help in this naming process is Yes, it sounds odd to be searching on a baby name website for character names, but I get so many great ideas from it.

Scrolling through the names, I make lists of ones I like and I also jot down ones I don’t.  I have a particular fondness for names that aren’t particularly common. Maybe because my name is a little different and most people stumble over the pronunciation.

The names I like get narrowed down to just the right one for my hero and heroine.  The names I don’t like get refined to a few that will work for characters in the story who are going to be troublemakers.

Looking through those names and finding just the right one is sort of like welcoming a new member to my “family”  – that family of characters who make up my books.


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