From Sarah, With Joy

*Poet * Author * Wanderluster*

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Naming Characters

This is a very individual process, but I think a few words on the subject might be helpful.

Dickens is the master of meaningful names. Names like M'Choakumchild instantly signify who the character is in the readers mind. Your names don't have to be Dickensian, but they should mean something. And just keep in mind that there are inherent differences between names like Kenneth Elsington III and Butch.

What I usually do is have a picture of my character in my head. I try and grasp them as a person, both their personality and how they look. Then I try and find a name that matches, even if there's no real logic behind it. I sometimes like to have a significant meaning behind the names I choose, too.

Here are my favorite baby name sites to help you pick names:

Happy writing!
Sarah Allen


  1. Hi, Sarah. Of late, I've been using and On these sites are lists of most popular first names (by country and birth year) and most common surnames (by country). I use these lists to pick quick names for secondary and walk-on characters (when they need names), and even to come up with name ideas for my main characters (though I put more thought into those).


  2. Great references! Thanks! I will definitely use those next time I'm naming. Thanks!

  3. I totally agree on this. The name should signify something meaningful either to the writer or the character itself and, as the reader gets to know your character, to the reader. I like to mix and match everything until I get one that just ...clicks. Like Frankie Donovan. It sounds like a boys name but she's a very tomboyish character sooo it fits.


    Sarah, darling. I heart you to a million and four pieces. <3 You rock my socks doll!


  4. Wow, thank you so much! Great ideas, and I really, really appreciate the kind words. Made my day :-)


I absolutely love hearing from you! Thank you so, so much for your thoughts and comments, they really do make my day. Consider yourself awesome. Also, I do my best to respond to every comment within 24 hours, so I invite you to come back and continue the conversation :)

To have weekly posts delivered to your inbox, just sign up here!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...