Character names.

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Hirohashi, Aug 1, 2012.

  1. [​IMG]

    "ARGH! I have everything but the name!"

    Most, if not all of us have had this dilemma during the character creation process. I know I certainly have.

    Some people find this to be the simplest of tasks while others take hours or more to decide on that perfect name for their new character!

    I want to know the process you go through to decide this oh so important aspect! Do you have a list of favorite names on hand for this very occasion? Do you rattle your brain trying to come up with something unique every single time? Maybe you recycle certain names over and over again. However you do it...

    Tell me, Iwaku! How do you decide on the names for your beloved characters?​
  2. I try to give my characters relatively normal names. Just because I try to make my characters relatively realistic. I have a Matt, a Mira, I have a Tyler, I have a Liam. well... I just like the name Liam. And it seems to be rising in popularity.

    The ones where I have a hard time figuring out names... I was involved in some Cats rps. You know, like Cats the musical? (I like musicals. Like. A lot. And Andrew Lloyd Webber especially) If anyone is familiar with that story, there's an entire song/poem dedicated to how cats have three different names. Their normal name (given to them by their humans), their unusual name (used among other cats) and their secret name (only they themselves know their own name). And the unusual names are...well... extremely unusual. Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer, Bombalurina, Mistofolees. So it was hard coming up with a name for my character that was that unusual.
  3. I loooove coming up with names.
    Names shape the character for me and they change how I feel about them.
    When I make a character, the first things that I have in mind are their name and maaaaaybe their appearance.
    From there, the name and how it feels to me shapes how I make the character and what their personality is like.
    This process ends up, for me, being: name --> appearance to fit name --> personality from how I feel about the name --> biography based on her personality to describe what made her how she is.

  4. I spy a Cats fan >w>

    ...Or maybe that's just me *knows the musical off by heart* ._.

    Anyway, I don't usually have a hard time picking names, because i reuse characters a lot. And if the name doesn't fit, it usually doesn't take much work to change it to something that does.

    Lyth, Tori, Avalon, Aydlex. Those would be my 4 most used.
  5. asjaf;kjdf you are a Cats fan???? ljfakjdf A RARE BREED


    Its been my favourite for as long as I can remember~
  7. Please try to stay on topic. :)
    Do either of you choose names based on personality or appearance?
  8. It's a rare thing for me to make up names any longer, since their is a wealth of real names across the globe. Often times I'll have either a sound or a theme I'm going for with the name and then hit one of the many baby name sites until I find the "perfect" name. Occasionally I'll come up with the name without having to look one up. In those cases it's a spark like everything else that comes to me for a plot.
  9. I have a variety of methods!

    MOST of the time I have a personality type in mind, so I look for a name that fits. Either by the sound of it, or through the meaning. I like having the names have hidden meaning!

    Sometimes I have a name first just because I really liked a name. So I build the personality and character around that.

    And then there are those rare times where I just can't find the right name and it drives me insane! My favorite name site is, though. 8D Plenty to choose from.
  10. If my character is from Sweden then I have no problem with names, if they are blonde then the first names that comes to my mind names like "olivia" or "Sara" because I had a lot of blonde haired friends with that name xD Brown hair then "Maria" or "Vanessa". Last names is also easy because I live here and I know a lot of Swedish last names so I just pick a random one xD

    If my character is from America though, that's when it becomes really hard for me. A surname is sometimes easy and sometimes hard, for the most it goes pretty fast though. But the last name, I hate to try and find last names that I think fits them xD So I google "American last names" and such things xD

    I have pretty easy with Japanese Surnames too, I just takes a anime characters surname that I think is cure x3 Then I once again uses google to find a good last name to my character.

    If my character is from another time period then I often use google too to see what kind of names they used to have during that time. (If it's not Swedish names because then it's just to take a 'Svenne bannan' name because they had exactly the same names as today xD Eva, Sven, Anders and so on.)
    *Svenne bannan - A name for a person that is completely Swedish, with other words, the most of the relatives are from Sweden (from at least some hundred years back in time) and has really Swedish name and looks.
  11. Surnames are pretty easy for American names. Half the time you could just use a first name as a last name. Like Blake. Or Grey.

    I guess I base my names off of personality. It does tend to be one of the last things I think of. Unless I've got a name in mind. Hm. It's hard to say. For me it just sort of goes at it goes.
  12. Most of the time, I choose the names of my characters from two sites: and (the site addresses may not be entirely accurate, but just do a search for "behind the name" and I think you should find them). I usually search for a major attribute of my character in the meaning of names field, and if I find one that I happen to like, I choose it and find a surname to go with it. If I do not find a name that matches the attribute, I go looking for synonyms or alternative attributes for my character until I find one that gives me a name I like. Therefore, most of my characters have meaningful names that represent one of their attributes or their role in the story. Sometimes, though, I just find a name I like and a surname that goes well with it.

    I also use inventend names occasionally, but only for characters that are for universes that are completely unlike our own. If I do, tend to go for names that sound good to my ears, or occasionally, names that sound strange and unusual to the human ear, maybe even slightly unpleasant. It all depends on the character, the culture they are from and what I want to do with them. So I guess that for me, the main factor that defines a character's name is their purpose in the story.
  13. I usually look up names on baby naming websites, and if I like two names for one character then the character gets a middle name. (:
  14. This gonna sound silly.

    I lay back and say total nonsense words until I spark something that sounds right. For example: "Aaaa ahaha...lelelele...lelelel..leeeeeeeeeee....leeeahahaha! Leee ah lee aaannnnnn! Aannnnananana...Oh...Oh! Iliana!"

  15. I have two methods.

    My favored site is Or if I'm naming something like a dragon I just go to Google like a badass and hunt up dragon names.


    Usually I pull the Ili method minus some derp and just type out letters and hurl a few vowels in there until it's in some semblance of a name x3
  16. It definitely depends on the character and setting. The look and such usually comes before the name (unless I just use one of my go-to names). If the character was just a 14 poor bum, in 1997 (Maybe something like Devon Procter), his name would be vastly less complicated compared to an Elven space pirate. (Maybe a Sarendil Gliendil)
  17. It can be so hard to find a name for a brand new character. So many factors to consider. I try to take a step back and consider their background and if their parents would want to give their child a name that reflects their heritage or would go with a name that'd fit in with their new country (if they had moved there). It can take me days to find a name and it usually comes down to a name that the character likes best.
  18. I use that behind the names site that Lstorm linked. Also, a couple other, genre based naming sites.

    I use simular names for a lot of my characters, or at least slight variations of them. I have also been in lazy moods and named my characters something really short so I wouldn't have to type out a long name. DAMN, that's lazy.
  19. CHaracter names are the hardest part for me. I feel that a character's name needs to define them in some way. Wether it is based off their heritage or in the case of most of my characters based off of their abilities. That depends on the situation. But A characters name must be perfect, and I find it immensly difficult to find the right name for a character.

    For example. The main character in the book I am writing atm. At a certain point in the story he will earn the name Void Varkanus. This name is based off both his magical abilities (and how the world he is in views them) and his heritage. However, have been unable to come up with a satisfactory name for him before he earns that name. So in the interim until I come up with a name I am using the temp name Sean as a place holder until I can come up with the real name he will have.
  20. I look on my keyboard and start typing out words that I think could be used for names. Like Yani or Ryzuki, those I've come up with that method, same thing with city/nation names.