How do I choose a name for my character?
Choosing a name can be a very daunting process for writers. After all a memorable character with a fitting name can live on well after the reader finishes a book.
As writers we tend to ponder the name that best reflects our character in the same way parents consider their child’s name. However unlike naming a child, the writer should already have an idea of their character’s personality traits to determine the name that would fit best.
The first step is getting to know the character. Using a character questionnaire is useful in determining whether your character is tall, short, thin, heavy, shy, nerdy, ambitious, and the list goes on an on.
Race, age, and the time period in which the novel is set are also determiners in choosing a character’s name.
For instance, in my novel The Buzz, my main character Ebony Jenkins, an African American female has a ‘what comes up, comes out’ type of personality. She’s very head strong, gossipy and snarky. I needed to give her a name that reflected her strong personality, but also a name that reflected her age. Once I came up with the name Ebony, I knew it fit her! And apparently her name resonated with the readers as I frequently run into people asking me what’s going on with Ms. Ebony Jenkins? LOL.
If all else fails and you’re still unable to come up with a name, consider using an online baby name generator or using the name of an old classmate or business associate with similar characteristics to your character.
What is your main character’s name and how did you choose it? Please share in the comment section below.
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