Name?? How to Chose Your Book Character’s Name

You’re getting ready to write your story. You have everything thought out and you can see your characters in your mind, but wait you haven’t named them! If you’re anything like me you struggle with this part of story building. 

I have a giant baby book of names that   I worship for writing. It has helped me so much, and even though I have explained it a thousand times friends still don’t understand just how big of a help it really is. 

Another source is the internet, with a simple search you can find just about anything. 

(Screen shot of the top 25 names of 2015 found on 

We have here a list of popular names separated by sex.  As you can see there’s a lot of choices but let’s say your stuck between two, Lucas and Owen. What do you do? 

That’s when you look at meaning and Origin. Every name has a meaning and origin. This will help you decide which has more in common with your character.  


Origin: Latin 

Meaning: Another form of Luke and Lucius. Meaning “light-giving” or “illumation”. 


Origin: Celtic 

Meaning: Traditional Welsh name meaning “noble”, “young warrior” and “well born.” 

So you can see some names have many different meanings. This is where you decide which is more like your character. Is he bright and light hearted or is he strong and noble? 

Now let’s say you found a name you really liked, but you don’t really care for how it’s spelled. There is many different ways you can spell certain names rather it’s Sara vs Sarah, or Cheyenne vs Shyanne. Most names will always have options.  

Fantasy Character Names. 

This is when the most popular list and modern names don’t exactly fit for what your looking for. 

Nature names are good options, Lily, Ruza, and Sage work well for fairies and sweet woodland creatures. 

Another thing is to find a meaning you want, like water, Ice and fire and do research for names that mean exactly that. You will find some creative and interesting names in different languages that may just be mystical enough like Pyry and Ahearn. 

Sometimes you can find modern names with different types of spelling that will work like Rose vs Ruza. 

A fun way to get new, and cool looking names is combining words and other names together! 

I’ll use some of the names I’ve came up with as a example. 

Gyrin (Guy + Rin) 

Zelroth (Zell + Roth) 

Then those that just come to you. 

Dahlar pronounced like duh-lar 

And those that have something to do with a emotion. Like I had taken Grummpy and turned it into a name for a little feisty house elf. 

Grumpt pronounced like grum-pt. 

We do have to be careful creating names that they aren’t to hard to pronounce or even read, but with these your imagination is the only thing that holds you back. You can make a endless list of names this way. 

Also you don’t want your characters to have similar names, like all of them starting with the letter J. It’s okay to have two with the same letter but you must make sure that readers can tell the difference between the two characters or else it gets confusing. 

Sources: Baby Center’s popular names of 2015


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