Tips and Tricks for coming up with Character names! (Plus some news!)

   Howdy folks! So, today I’ve put together a few tips and tricks for *drumroll please* coming up with character, kingdom, and place names! Yay!!! We all hate coming up with names, right? (Is this just me: “So excited I get to name someone new in my book!” *Five hours later* “I seriously have no idea what to name this character nothing seems to fit him.”) It gets hard after naming a few people and using all your favorite names. I know.

   Names are so important like it’s usually my favorite part of a character and what helps me decide on their personality and such. Your name says so much about you and the same goes for your character. But names say something about kingdoms, towns, villages, worlds…names are very important and thus hard to come up with. After all, there are only so many letters in the alphabet.

   But if you’re feeling stuck, brain fried, or just want a better way for coming up with names besides thinking really hard for hours then…I have some tips! So, without further ado let’s get started, shall we?

Tip 1:

   Okay, this is a fun one! Like you might already do this one but I thought I’d include it anyway. So, sometimes what I do is I pick a letter for the name to start with (and of course a gender for my character) and then I start saying words and names that start with that letter. Like I want my character’s name to start with ‘n’. Okay, now Nicholas, Nick, Nicki, Nickel, Ned, Nathaniel, Nate, Nat, November, Naturin, Nathan, Noe…until I find a name I like.

   This isn’t a fool-proof plan but it’s a lot of fun to do! Sometimes it helps me like not at all, but other times it has helped me name a character. A similar idea is to think of what your character is like. For example, I had a squirrel character who was a black squirrel. I wanted a name that was natural and so I thought of natural black things so the names I came up with were Charcoal, Burn, Shadow, and Night, I ended up naming him Night and it really fits him.

Tip 2:

   This is one I started doing when I was bored. Look up baby names…You can find so many cool ones by searching, awesome baby boy names, cool girl names, etc…you can also search by nationality which helps if you’re writing a book about an Irish girl or Australian boy. I have found an abundance of cool names and the meanings that go with them which is also super helpful if you want to be a little bit cheesy! 😊

   A side character from my novel World of Silence was named this way, her name Adara I found online and it means fire. The cheesy part is she rides a dragon and has red hair, in her defense though she was originally a rabbit if that makes it any better…lol…

Tip 3:

   Road signs. Did I just say road signs? Yes, I did! Road signs are great places to find names of all sorts, especially down here in the south we get creative. Read road signs when you go driving. I have found so many great names on road signs like Galax, Hamby, Hayden, Marrestop (said Mars-Top), and soooo many others.

Road signs are awesome you guys! Actually, road signs are like my favorite place to find names for towns and such. Cool places like Irongate, Wolfe Creek, and Pisgah Gap.

Tip 4:

   You can also try gravestones. Yeah, that sounds creepy but pardon me if I like going to old graveyards and reading the names and inscriptions on the stones. My dad actually started me on this one, we were looking for some of his ancestors’ graves and I was like cool names! He then suggested I get out my “Name book” and write down some of them. I have found so many unique and cool names on old gravestones such as Ransom, Fairy, O (Yep, that was his whole name), and many different spellings for Selena, Molly, and Polly.

Tip 5:

   Movie credits. So many people, so many names! As long as you don’t use someone’s whole name like Michael Landon or something like that this is a great place to find names! Actors and directors and such usually have some cool names like Skandar, super cool name you guys! (Also happens to be the guy who plays Edmund from Narnia first name.)

   You can also take names from characters in the movie just don’t use the whole name like Peter Parker because everyone is going to know where you got that. 😉

And lastly…

Tip 6:

   Other books. Again, don’t steal the whole name like Picket Longtreader, Bevin Connor, or Drew Carter, but you could use the name Picket, I’m thinking Longtreader is made up and thus copyrighted but don’t quote me on that. Drew and Carter could both be cool names as could Bevin and Connor, just don’t use them on the same person.

   If the name is common enough like Sage, Levi, Drew, Leeli, or Heather…then feel free to use it! If you’re not sure if it’s a real name you can always look it up! Google to the rescue! Of course, don’t steal a kingdom or world name, but character names are usually in the clear, and when in doubt look it up!


   Okay, that wraps up my tips and now for the tricks. I actually only have one trick so here it is. Keep a notebook with you at all times just for names! You never know when you are going to meet someone with a cool name or see a road sign with an epic town name, or I don’t know just come up with the coolest name ever spur of the moment. You never want to be without a notebook! So, keep a notebook with you at all times and write down the names you like. Then the next time you’re stuck on what to name a character, kingdom, town, etc. refer to the notebook! So easy!

   Right now, my “Name Book” as I call it contains almost fifty pages of names! Some of them are marked out because my sisters or I have used them but I still have hundreds of names listed in my book and I’m still adding! I have first and last name ideas for characters, kingdom name ideas, town names, creek and river names, mountain range names, names for forests, horses, pets, everything! It is so fun and easy you guys! That is as long as you remember your pen…lol…

Another important trick, keep a pen with your notebook at all times. A notebook won’t do you any good if you don’t have a pen…hahaha…duh, should have remembered that one, I’ve been caught without a pen a few times and had to borrow one from some else or type the names into my phone…which reminds me I think there are still names in my phone that I need to write in my “Name Book” …

Excuse me…

   Okay, there are your tips and trick…not tricks, sorry. Oh, wait yes tricks! I came up with a second one…lol…anyway, I hope you enjoyed this post! Let me know what you think in the comments and share how you come up with names!


And time for a special announcement! I am opening Beta reading for my novel World of Silence! I hope to publish it in March of 2022! I know, big goal and I need your help! So if anyone is interested here is the link to sign up…

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSc-Sq2d-D_nPZi9x2DecD8aJyPFVvXUc18zTHFCWG68ME2YgA/viewform?usp=sf_link

God Bless folks!

Kayti

(Also, side note I just set up a FaceBook the other day…you can find me under Kaytlin Phillips…if anyone has FaceBook.)

Published by Kayti

Hi there, my name is Kaytlin Phillips, I go by Kayti, short and punchy. I have an obsession with the written word, or maybe an addiction. Ever since I can remember I have read everything I can get my hands on! I LOVE BOOKS!!! I also love writing and might have a slight obsession with pens and notebooks, don't tell anyone. My other loves (which are many) include rabbits, dogs, horses, foxes, tigers and lions, dragons, griffins, art, fun facts, nature, the color blue, and the smell of old books! And yes, I talk to myself, I think all bookishly crazy people do...

12 thoughts on “Tips and Tricks for coming up with Character names! (Plus some news!)

  1. Thanks for these handy tips on character naming, Kayti! I love visiting baby name sites, though I should collect all those note papers into one journal *haha*. I’ve always wanted to visit a graveyard and read the tombstones (sometimes they write something funny or clever on there.) Ooo, and I never thought of road signs! I’m going to have to try that sometime.

    Yay!!! That’s awesome that you’re doing a middle grade book! I took a look at the sign up sheet and read the synopsis; it looks cool! Unfortunately, I’m not sure I’ll be able to beta read your story in time, BUT I’d be happy to help out with the blog tour (maybe a spotlight and interview if you’d like? Totally up to you!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Of course! Glad you liked them! I know they are so fun! Lol…yeah, it is interesting….the names are so unique sometimes, you never know what you’ll find…. (right.) Yes! My favorite! You should!

      Thank you!!!! Okay, I understand….That sounds great! Thank you so much!!!! (Oh, sounds awesome! I’m so excited!!!)

      Like

  2. Those are some great suggestions to help make naming characters easier! And you’re publishing World of Silence!!!! That’s so exciting!! I’m not able to help with the beta reading, but I’d love to read an ARC copy and help out with a blog tour!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post, Kayti!! AND YES ROAD NAMES ARE THE BEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! XDDD Like Payne… But anywho, will definitely be referring to this later!

    Also, congrats on the book! I think if I offered to beta read I’d overcommit myself (I’m already behind on beta reading *facepalm*), but let me know if you need more and I could squeeze it in. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!!! Yes they are!!!! Ack, yes Payne!!! Dad went to school with some Payne’s….and there are quite a few roads named Payne….Thank you! Glad to hear it!

      Aww, thanks so much! Totally understandable….Will do! Thanks so much!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I LOVED this post!!!!!!!!! Tips and tricks always excite me 😀 and this did not disappoint!! How clever to take note of the road signs… and it’s SO true: so often I’m like, “What a unique street name!” Next time we go for a drive I’m going to keep a notebook on hand to write them down. And grave stone and movie credits are such a cool idea too!! My go-to is always Tip #2. I love baby name sites, cause they also usually have the meanings listed too!

    And eeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!! Girl YES!!! I totally signed up for that and am so excited for your goal to publish in March!!! Let’s do this!!!! 😀 😀 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you!!!! So glad to hear that!!! Yeah, road signs are awesome!!! Yes, you so should!!! There are so many interesting ones and funny ones and just great ones!!!! Yes! Baby name sites are so much fun!!!!

      Yay!!!! So glad you’re excited!!!! I’m excited!!!!! Yeah, it’s a sketch but I wanted to just make myself do it…you know?? Yes!!! Let’s!!!!! 🙂

      Like

  5. Yay, so excited for your upcoming book, Kayti! I don’t think I’m going to be able to beta read, but I’d love to read it once it comes out. 🙂

    And yes to trying to name characters … it’s so impossibly hard. Great tips! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!!! Me too!!! That’s fine…I can’t wait to get it out…I’ve been working on it soooo long I figured it was time to just do it before I decide to never do it…lol….

      Thank you soo much!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

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