8 Tips for Naming Characters

by Dan Schmidt | 64 comments

This guest post is by Dan Schmidt. Dan blogs at www.toucanic.net. You can follow him on Twitter (@toucanic) and Facebook.

We give names to most everything around us: our pets, our kids, our cars, the products we use, the food we eat (it’s not ‘frozen dairy-like substance’, but Frosty), the games we play. And, as writers, we name our characters, too. In fact, next to the physical characteristics we try to describe, the names of our heroes, villains, band leaders, and shopkeepers are about the most important tool we have for identifying and tracking who is doing what. Good names help both writers and readers move through a story smoothly; bad names put us in a stagecoach on a washed out dirt road.


names characters

Photo by Evelyn Giggles

In my current novel, I'm writing about faculty, staff, and students at a smallish university in the southeast. Since there is a big cast, characters need to be distinct without being odd (at least, not all of them can be odd), which means I need a lot of names.

Thankfully, some characters arrive already wearing a badge—like Cleveland Alabama, the school's provost. Others, though, require more effort. When, for instance, I wanted to introduce the library director, I checked my names file. As luck would have it, the name “Antony Ellerman” was there, waiting.

How Do You Name Your Characters

Expecting parents can consult books if they need a moniker for their bundle of joy. But how do writers come up with a batch of suitable options? Here are my techniques:

1. Start with people you already know.

But be sure to do a bit of tweaking, too, so as to protect the innocent (a writing contest asked authors to use pseudonyms for the judging phase; the one I chose for my submission was, inadvertently, the name of a living German scholar. Whoops.).

2. Get some maps!

While driving through Nashville, I noticed street names that sounded like they should be characters in a novel I was working on. Maps—especially from cities in the South—have been a source ever since.

3. Pay attention to movie credits.

Hint: the pause button is your friend. Hint #2: see #1 above.

4. Look around you.

In Playa Perdida, one of my favorite characters is Charlotte Pipe. Her name came off a length of PVC tubing I saw in a lumber yard, shipped in from North Carolina.

5. Use index cards.

By keeping separate cards for first and last names, you can combine as needed.

6. Create a cast list.

As characters emerge, I put them on a ‘cast list’. In stories of any length, this can grow rather large, so I consult it often, and ask questions:

  • Do too many names have the same ‘tone' (like a first name with 2 syllables, last name with 1, and so on)?
  • Too many with the same initials?
  • Does a name seem realistic even if it’s entirely made up? (‘Lauren Mifflewhite’, a math prof at the college in my new novel, fits that.)

7. Listen to your names.

Names can’t be overly weird or impossible to pronounce (science fiction and fantasy, I’m looking at you). They have to be believable without being boring, and woe betide the name that comes across as heavy-handed (a problem even among those not writing allegories). When in doubt, ask a friend to read the name out loud. Pay attention to feedback.

8. Thank the Muse, and then Google your list.

Names that work are gifts, and I’m grateful for each one.

Then, once my cast list is fairly solid, I run a Google search to make sure I haven't chosen the name of someone who lives on my block, or who has already written a novel about a smallish university in the southeast.


You have two options for your practice today:

1. To build your own cast list, start with a group of names, like from your email address book, a church directory, or the board of directors at your current school or alma mater. Take fifteen minutes to riff on that list, creating 20 new names from what’s on your page.

2. List the names of characters from a recent piece you’ve written, and then spend 15 minutes studying it: Is there repetition of tone (same number of syllables in more than 3 of the names)? Can someone other than you pronounce those names easily? Change at least two of the names to something else entirely. What happens to your story?

When you're finished, post your practice in the comments, telling us which one you did.

Have fun!

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  1. Suzie Gallagher

    Talenkynic – no last name from Zylmor
    Mary Cronin with the nickname Morrigan (queen of crows, irish mythology)
    Maplesyrup Maguire, badly named by social climbing mother, Annie
    Chrystal O’Brien, settled traveller
    Rohan Williard, aka Red
    Sukey Mackie, artist
    Joy Wellcome, Annie Maguire’s childhood and adult best friend
    Mimosa Harwich, Annie Maguire’s boss
    Joshua Flynn, Mary Cronin’s “the one”
    Kuldeep Jayaraman, Joshua’s school friend
    Gaetana Jayaraman, Kuldeep’s sister

    All characters in progress

    • Snowy

      I have to say, these names sound awesome.

    • Suzie Gallagher

      thank you, I hope as they develop on paper as they are in my head they will become more real

      Maplesyrup is my favourite, her mother misheard a conersation in “the” place to do lunch and thought it was the next ‘big’ celeb name, turns out that the customer was about to say the name but was offering to pass the maplesyrup at the same time so it went something like, “You’ll not believe what I heard Woody was going to call the child, ‘Maplesyrup?’ Satchel. Can you imagine?”

      Sukey, chose her own name, she was supposed to be a ‘Jill’ but her father on the way to register the birth dropped in to a pub on the way, many whiskeys later, had the name forgotten and asked the barmaid her name, “Susan” was the reply and the baby girl was thus named. Three years later she was playing with her best friend Polly and Polly’s father started reciting the nursery rhyme “Polly put the kettle on” and from then on she was known as Sukey to her friends and changed it by deedpoll at 18.

    • Dan

      I like names that can be ‘flexible’–with nicknames, etc, so Mary Cronin/Morrigan sounds good. Mimosa Harwich has a wonderfully lyrical ring. Joshua Flynn? Solid.

    • Marianne Vest

      I love Sukie Mackie
      Actually, Suzie, I love your name. British names are always so cool.

  2. Marianne Vest

    I was looking into Scriviner and found that they have a name generator which I thought would be great, but to many choices made my head ache. I have started a multigenerational story and want to have the names fit the time and place so I google like “favorite names of 1920” and see what they have. The trouble is that way I get very common names. I always wonder if either of my grandmothers had a friend whose name she really admired. Unfortunately they aren’t here to ask anymore. I guess old movie star names could be a good source. Also you can google names by state which is kind of cool. That is only for modern names but there is a difference between say Texas and Maine (not a lot because the favorite names are so strong.

    • Joe Bunting

      No way! I didn’t even realize they had that. So cool! Thanks Marianne 🙂

  3. Katie Axelson

    Can I add to your list of suggestions?
    – Avoid repeating the same first letter for too many characters, especially vital ones. I keep an alphabet list with characters and try to use a new letter every time and never repeat the letter of my main handful of characters.
    – Avoid names that rhyme (I use rhyming names for twins who are support characters)

    I’m also a big fan of Babynames.com to look up names. First names are easy for me; last names not so much. I love reading the atlas to come up with strange things like that.


    • wendy2020

      I agree with avoiding repeating the same first letter of the first name of primary characters. I am reading a story by an author I really like, except two men in the love triangle have such similar sounding names it is hard to keep them straight. Same amount of syllables, too.
      I heart Babynames.com, as well the Social Security website because I can list names by decade, so if I am trying to name a character that is 30 years old and thus born in the 80s you can pick a name that would be age appropriate.

  4. Katie Axelson

    I commented and then thought of a question:

    How do you all feel about characters having nicknames?


  5. Angelo Dalpiaz

    I try for names that fit the times, but the novel I’m beginning takes place in Italy, and then the Italian family moves to America, so I’m going to have to keep the names somewhat ethnic. Here’s a short list of my characters.

    Severino Cuzelli, my grandfather, but the last name has been changed.

    Angela Fauri; my grandmother

    Antonia Pasella: the woman my grandfather had an affair with. (totally fiction, but my family is going to disown me.)

    Benito Pasella: Antonia’s husband, not a nice guy, who dies at the hands of my grandfather.

    Giorgio Cuzelli: My great-grandfather

    Lucia Pantelli: My great-grandmother.

    There will be others. I am searching the archives of the churches in Italy where my family is from by using the Church of the Latter Day Saints microfishe records, a real treasure trove.

  6. Dan Schmidt

    Early in my novel about the southern university, I assembled a cast list that included this group:

    Scooter Gibbs—security guard
    Cassandra Locke—keymaster
    Ginger Deal—registrar
    Pete Rowe—chaplain.
    Etta Winston—art; pottery; piano
    Char—student prankster

    As the story developed—and as I spent more time on this piece for The Write Practice—I realized that some of these names weren’t working well. Scooter Gibbs was too contrived (and it was sort of lifted from NCIS—whoops). Cassandra Locke? Several names were ending in ‘a’. Pete Rowe, the chaplain, turned out to be British (who knew?), so he needed more gravitas. And Char, the student prankster—well, when I was describing her to a friend, I realized I already had a Charlotte in a previous novel. So, enter Liv.

    Kip Harsdale—security guard
    Milicent Locke—keymaster
    Ginger Lydell—registrar
    Peter Howell—chaplain.
    Etta Winston—art; pottery; piano
    Liv—student prankster

    Do these work a little better?

    • Suzie Gallagher

      Saw the Gibb thing, NCIS is my weekly watch. Our pastor was doing a sermon a few weeks ago and said “proby”, although others may watch NCIS they wouldn’t know he did. Because of it I was able to share with a couple of friends and one came with me to church last week. God id good.

      I like Ginger as a name, we don’t have that here, only as a nickname for a red head.

    • wendy2020

      I like all of your names. They roll of the tongue but sound original enough as to not be forgotten. The only one that trips me up is the keymaster, Milicent Locke. I’ve know people who by some fate intervention their last name actually matches their job, like Dr. Drilling – my dentist before I moved. I accept it as true because he really exists. In fiction, I get tripped up by the coincidence and that makes it harder for me to suspend my disbelief and believe the character is real, unless the coincidence is played up in the story. It’s like something that sounds too good to be true?
      Agree, Kip Harsdale is better than Scooter Gibbs, and I can totally see the rest of them milling about your campus. Was really interesting hearing the evolution of the names.

  7. Yvette Carol

    From my WIP: (book two of The Grandfather Diaries) ‘The Scorpion Empire’

    Chief Wako
    Aden Weaver
    Josalha Weaver (Papa Joe) and Jean Weaver (Nana Jean)
    Te Maia Wilde (Tem)
    Bertram (Stingray) and Hames (Pums) Goldstone (the twins)
    Three (real name: Sugar Blossom)
    Geo (real name; Waataha)
    Ike Lee
    Tokugawa (‘The boy called Uncle’)
    Umi Bozu
    Henny St. John (Hen)
    Dr. Milo Mahiora
    The Grand Venerated Loci

    I guess my concern with my characters (and secondarily, setting) has always been that the names are ‘too exotic’ and the whole thing is too exotic. I’ve been told many times by different bigwigs in the biz that you can’t use ‘foreign’ names because if the reader can’t pronounce them then you’ve lost them.
    However, my stories were based here in NZ (where you get the occasional Maori name; Waataha, Mahiora, Te Maia), and then Japan (hence the Japanese names), and then there are further subsidiary characters once we get to Brazil, called names like Sun Flicker, Alejandro, Chief Metal Claw, and others. It didn’t feel right to make them all vanilla, so I ignored the advice I have to say, and kept the names as they were.

    If I was to do as prescribed, I could try changing the baddie, Chief Wako to Chief Montolo? Chief Maule? Chief Slavaks? No none of these feel like him to me. Or the protagonist, our dear Aden Bill Weaver, maybe he could be Strong Al Weaver? Stanley Bill Weaver? Tomas Sal Weaver? No, I’m still committed to Aden B W!!

    • Wanda Kiernan

      I like your names, too. That they are not Tom, Dick, and Harry (not that there’s anything wrong with these names) is what makes it interesting to me. When you feel strongly about your character’s name, stick to it. He/she probably planted the “call me this” seed to begin with.

  8. kateoldkate

    my favorite place to get names are the obit pages and walking through cemetaries. (I mix and match.)i get some crazy ideas wondering about the actual people, and thinking about what is NOT written in the obit. i also love the peace of a cemetary for generating ideas – look at the way some families are grouped together, and the stones for the not yet dead – fascinating!

  9. Suzie Gallagher

    computer games have great names, both created by and names of characters. For example Dizzy by the Oliver Twins could become Dizzy and Rada Oliver, the fearsome b-iat-ch twins that ruled Cedar Falls High.

    Old poets and writers names, characters in poems.

    I imagine the mother or father naming the baby, I like to know everything about my characters from their conception just in case it is relevant: it may not be but it might trigger something else down the road.

  10. Wanda Kiernan

    I like these ideas for coming up with character names, especially looking at maps for inspiration. What a treasure trove that could yield. And it’s just fun to think of names. Sometimes the name alone can inspire a story.

  11. Wanda Kiernan

    I tried exercise 1 with a list of 24 names. I sorted the list by first name & then last name; looked at last names that could be first names, and visa-verse; considered number of syllables in the new names, and I came up with a list of 5 new names. I then “Googled” the names, and only one was unique (drum roll) Wayland Coburn.

    Like all the practices on this website, I have another tool (and was able to practice using it) to improve my writing and inspire my creativity.

  12. Yvette Carol

    Hi fellow subscribers to The Write Practice,
    just to let you know, my computer has been dying slowly of late, and it now refuses to let me post ‘comments’ other than up here in the original comment space. I’ve been very frustrated trying to give my feedback, I try each day but no dice! Just wanted to say, thanks Suzie and Wanda for your feedback. Suzie, I particularly liked the names Rohan and Mimosa, and even Maplesyrup Maguire… there’s something about certain names that evoke instant images. Angelo, I’m partial to exotic names so I really like yours. Glad to know you’re still following up this idea 🙂

  13. Steph

    Here is a quick list. I have two “must change” names and one “could change.” Nicknames abound in my cast, but they are the reality, especially for men, in my time and setting. I think renaming “Mags” into something without a nickname could break that up. It just hasn’t hit me yet. He was Jacques forever until I realized I had too many French names going on, and I’ve been floundering with regards to his name ever since.

    Etienne LaCroix (voyageur) – stays
    Rex Michel LaCroix (protagonist/fishing guide) – stays
    Nell LaCroix(Rex’s mother/lodge owner) – could change
    Phyllis (barmaid/cabin cleaner) – stays
    Mags Magnusson – (island resident/bar regular/hunting guide) – This name was once Jack, than Jacques, then Mags. It needs to change – help!!
    Arvid “Doc” Miller – (physician/guest) – stays
    Peter Bergmann (miner) – stays
    Hattie Bergmann (Peter’s daughter) – stays
    Benny “The Clutch” Panetta (guest/mechanic) – stays
    Rex Michel LaCroix, Jr. “RJ” – (Rex’s son) – stays
    Myrtle LaCroix – (Rex’s wife) – needs to change
    Sarge (RJ’s dog) – stays
    Stubbs Olson (stationmaster) – stays

    • Suzie Gallagher

      Mags is right, cos of magnus magnusson, isn’t it that way for naming in Iceland?
      I love Myrtle, at piano practice of Vanessa Jayne, my friend, I still remember her practicing Myrtle the Turtle, we must have been about eight!

  14. Steph

    Suzie, I love Maplesyrup, especially in context of her “social climbing mother.” I wonder if it would be more believable, though, if she didn’t spell it exactly like the words “maple” and “syrup” since it was misunderstood at the restaurant?

  15. Steph

    Yvette Carol, I think you should keep your names. They are authentic and anyone who can’t cope with them maybe needs to get out more! The world is hardly composed of “common” Western names.

    BTW, why can’t I post directly in threads anymore??

  16. Steph

    From what I have gathered from your entries here, Angelo, you could not have made up a name as fitting as Severino for your protagonist.

  17. Dan Schmidt

    As I’m having trouble posting in the threads, too, I’ll jump in like this…

    Steph, you might be able to keep Magnusson by using just his last name when he’s mentioned (or change it to a two-syllable last name–like Hauser, maybe?–which might be easier to ‘pronounce’). That would fit with a tough guy like you’re describing. For ‘completeness’, he needs a first name, but if you use something like Percival, Sven, or Oliver, that could be a throwaway. Does your story require only/mostly French and Scandanavian names?

    Marianne–any way to access newspapers from your era? I recall reading that Annie Proulx checked old papers to get the sound of dialog for “The Shipping News”–papers might also be a way to gather some names… And kateoldkate’s cemetery idea would work well, too!

    And thanks for the tip about names that rhyme, Katie–that can get out of hand kinda quick…

  18. Steph

    Thanks for the ideas, Dan Schmidt. Yes, my characters are primarily of French, Scandinavian, and Ojibwe descent. Your question makes me think that I could stray, though, and that might make things interesting. Off to find my thinking cap…

  19. Steph

    Thanks, Suzie. You are correct, Mags is technically Magnus Magnusson. I picked the name for its origins and because it has a “Magnum” ring to it. Mags is a shell-shocked sniper from WWI who now lives alone in a cabin on a remote northern lake where he basically drinks and hunts and finds himself entangled with Rex, the protagonist, in a mystery. I have replaced this name in a few chapters and I’m just struggling to know the character by it, maybe because he was Jacques for so long to me. I don’t feel like it is working, somehow, but I haven’t come upon anything better.

  20. Yvette Carol

    Thanks for the vote of confidence Steph!

  21. Yvette Carol

    Hi Steph (I should have read all the comments before I started answering!), I find Mags Magnusson gets ‘stuck’ in my inner voice, it’s too much of a mouthful. Far prefer Jack. But that’s just my opinion. Love Sarge for the dog, it conjures up an image instantly. And Benny ‘the clutch’ is brilliant 🙂

  22. Norma Shephard

    Thanks for the tips. In my current manuscript I had three characters with some form of ‘Ann’ in their name and I hadn’t noticed. Two of the names I wanted to keep and the third was a historical figure, so I gave the two fictional characters each a nickname and dropped the ‘anns’ from their names that way.

  23. J.M. Ney-Grimm

    Oh, this looks like fun! Can I play?

    Sarvet, 16-year old protag living in secluded mountain enclave
    Paiam, her rigid and over-protective mother
    Ivvar, Sarvet’s father, estranged from his family
    Brionne, Sarvet’s best friend
    Amara, another friend
    Nial, young man away on his wanderyar
    Johtaia, “lodge-mother” of the mountain community

    (I suspect I’m one of those guilty-as-charged fantasy writers. Grin!)

  24. Lyndsey Lewellen

    Love this post! Naming people is one of my favorite things to do as a writer.

    I try to make my characters have names that somehow either fit their personality when the reader meets them, or have something to do with how they’ll end up in the story. I’m on the weirder is better bandwagon with the exception that I like names to sound like they’re spelled.
    Some examples are my children. Aria, Ransom, and Caspian. All strange, but yet easy to pronounce.

  25. Andrea Wenger

    The U.S. Social Security website is also a good place to get names, based on date of birth.

    I’m always careful to make sure the character names reflect the ethnic mix of the locale (not really a concern for sf/f, of course).

  26. Jagoda

    I know I’m late to this post, but I found it so helpful, I wanted you to know. I especially like the inspiration you found from PVC piping. It proves that anything can trigger our creativity and imagination.

  27. BooksRule

    Robin Welles. Any comments?

    • AspiringAuthor416

      That’s a pretty good name! Kind of simplistic and short, but it works fine! 🙂

  28. AspiringAuthor416

    Ooh, this looks like fun…

    Samuel Dane, 13, eighth grade “Sam”
    Jodie Joseph, 13, homeschooled, can shapeshift “JoJo”
    Clyde Fisher, 12, seventh grade, can turn drawings into reality
    Theodore Flynn, 13, eighth grade “Teddy/Ted”
    Kendall Price, 13, eighth grade

    These are the 3 mains (S, C, J) and and two major-minor characters that help drive the plot. There’s a bunch more, I’m just too tired to look them up right now. I’ve been a little worried on Fisher VS Flynn, but I never mention Teddy’s last name, so I think I’m good. 🙂

    That was a really good article, by the way!

  29. Eowyn

    Ok, characters… I write fantasy but I did try to keep simple names!

    Miri – magic, hunted by empire, quiet, loves reading
    Dari – ‘Fox’ leader of resistance, Miri’s older sister. enrolled into service, sh her commander, escaped and started resistance,
    Luce – dippy sister of Dari and Miri. Enrolled into service but escaped.
    Kilen Empiric – convict, death sentence, on the run with Miri and Carys.
    Carys Empiric – heir to throne, runaway, hotheaded fighter, Kilens’ sister. Same hair as River song.
    Stephen – m, d, and Ls father
    Yana – please don’t make me describe her, she’s like a ghost, conscience, and a time lord rolled into one…
    Rian – joker, funny, I killed him off, loves Luce but she doesn’t know
    Laut – sensible soldier, Dari’s right hand man. Brother was killed by empress.
    Ralph – only 12, soldier, errand boy, etc.

    And that concludes my character list, I put them in order of importance. The ones without surnames actually don’t have surnames, by the way. Only those who live in the citadel have surnames…

    • Eowyn

      *Dari shot her commander

  30. Ria Torres

    Alyssa “Mace” Mace: Goes by her last name because her best friend, who died in an attack against her corporation, always called her that.

    Matilda “Til” Devney: Named after Matilda from the book Matilda because her mother loved the book. Til doesn’t like the name Matilda so she goes by Til. Mace meets her at a football game and slowly becomes her friend.

    Jay Fletcher: One of Til’s friends that is introduced to Mace through Til. Mace develops a crush on Jay, and Jay likes Mace back.

    Jessalyn “Jessa” Thorpe: : One of Til’s friends that is introduced to Mace through Til. Jessa comforts Mace through hard times and is an all around good friend.

    Arden Hale: One of Til’s friends that is introduced to Mace through Til. Arden is a bit of a wacka-doodle, but always gives Mace a good laugh.

    Lina Novio: One of Til’s friends that is introduced to Mace through Til. Lina is a bit shy, but around her friends she can give a pretty good convo.

    Melanie Stacy: One of Til’s friends that is introduced to Mace through Til. A boy-crazy, really pretty, girl. She annoys Mace a little bit, but is a good friend to talk to when Mace wants to talk about Jay.

    Erik Ryder: One of Til’s friends that is introduced to Mace through Til. Jay’s best friend, who also likes Mace, causing a weak love triangle, since Mace doesn’t like him back.
    Karina Wyght: Mace’s best friend who was killed in the attack.

  31. Leann Roush

    Macy Tennison: A small town girl, who has a big dream of becoming a famous actress/singer.
    Jason “Jace” Wolfe: Macy’s cousin who helps with Macy’s dreams. He just moved to Macy’s town after living in Honolulu, Hawaii for 3 years. Goes by Jace because Macy gave him that nick name when they were 5.
    Rebecca “Becca” Clark: Macy’s best friend. She has a crush on Jace, and Jace has a crush on her, but they don’t know about each other yet.
    Elaine “Lainey” Baxter: Macy and Becca’s friend. She’s a tomboy and enjoys many things like superheroes and transformers.
    Chasity Wheeler: A crazy friend of Macy, Becca, and Lainey’s. Let’s just say, she’s nuts.
    Katheryn “Katie” Ward: Macy, Becca, Lainey, and Chasity’s friend who only really talks about boys.
    Tara Vincent: Macy, Becca, Lainey, Chasity, and Katie’s friend, who seems to be a little shy.

  32. Madisyn Thorne

    Nicholas “Nick” Norwood: The narrator. He moves to a new school and runs into an old family friend that just happened to have moved to the same school district 5 years ago. He ends up falling in love with her.

    Caitlyn Robertson: Nick’s love interest. She had a crush on Nick 5 year prior to the story. She’s an outgoing, funny, and talented person.

    Alexander “Alex” Norwood: Nick’s twin brother. He’s very annoying but has a good heart. Always likes to get into fights with Caitlyn.

    Zachary “Zack” Wheeler: Caitlyn’s ex-boyfriend who still loves her. He is jealous of Nick because Caitlyn hangs out with Nick almost everyday. He is the main antagonist.

    Connor Dorset: Caitlyn’s cousin who lives with her because of family issues. Connor befriends Alex and they try to set up Nick and Caitlyn up on a date.

    Reagan Mayfield: Caitlyn’s best friend. She is a bit of a wackadoodle and is sort of a tomboy.

    Evan Robertson: Caitlyn’s younger brother. He is best friends with Nick and Alex’s younger brother.

    Garrett Norwood: Nick and Alex’s younger brother.

    • Beth

      The best friend of my narrator is called Reagan. Maybe it’s a generic best friend name?! Either way, awesome 🙂

  33. Jeremiah Kimmeridge

    Martin Hussingtree
    Morton Corbet
    Lee Botwood
    Hope Bowdler
    Belle Broughton
    Mitchell Dean
    Weston Jones
    Edwyn Ralph

    All adapted from English placenames

    • Mary Shipley

      Anonymouse: My Name is Mary Shipley and I want to learn how to write a book about a skit and I want to do it right now while I am thinking of a interesting title to choose from.

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  35. Anonymouse

    Guinevere Short
    Moiread Jones
    Anna Mikanova
    Maria Ellis
    Ambra Merino
    The people who transcribed names at Ellis Island are your friends. Anglicization is very helpful. I like to get my friends to read some names then I try and spell them. I then chop, cute and paste as I like.

  36. Aspen Grey

    I found it funny that you named a character Cleveland too, as the (female) protagonist of the novel I’m writing is named Cleveland.

  37. Aspen Grey

    And since others seem to be listing names of characters in their novels, so will I.

    Cleveland Smith
    Francesca “Frankie” Romano
    Christopher Alvarez
    Danica Zimmerman
    Melissa “Missy” Smith

  38. Meagan Allsopp

    Luke Dawson
    Evelina Nikoles
    I need a nickname for some one whose name is Landon. Can anyone help?

    • Megan Wiles


  39. Sunshine

    Here are a few names of my novel’s characters :
    Diana “Princess” Hopkins
    Sheriff Graham Hunter
    Watson Booth – the sheriff’s friend
    Katherine “Kate” Carol- Diana’s aunt
    Ann Marie Carol – Diana’s mum
    Henry Carol – grandfather
    Josephine ” Mama Jo” Carol- grandmother
    Gordon Hopkins- Diana’s deceased dad
    ….well- that’s about it , still in progress

    • Megan Wiles

      Diana “Princess” reminds me of Princess Diana. Just throwing that out there. Was it intentional?

  40. J Arias

    Caz Fletcher
    Dorian Fletcher
    Russell Domakov
    Arai (last name tbd)
    Rin (last name tbd)

    This is my (fantasy) WIP. It’s set in an era similar to the mid 1800s in terms of technological advances, and has a magic element. Seems I’ve come a little late to this party, but I figured I’d post it anyways!

  41. acisseJ syaeK

    I’m 13 and I write stories and fanfiction. Here are the character names, ages & genders from a story draft I have:
    Chloe Wilkinson, 12, f
    Jessie King, 14, f
    Nate Wilkinson, 10, m
    Michael King, 11, m
    Colette Wilkinson, 40, f
    Patricia King, 40, f
    Stephen Wilkinson, 43, m
    Tim Camp, 15, m
    JJ Smith, 15, m
    Brandon Baker, 15, m
    That’s all I have right now. Are they good? I don’t mind constructive criticism.

  42. Jeffrey Cherubin

    Male Characters:
    Scott Bibby

    Robert Torres

    Patrick “Packie” Egan

    Thomas “Toejam” Keil

    Brian “Butternut” Perrone

    John “Blackeye” Gallagher

    Female Characters:
    Carrie Gallagher

    Annabelle “Strawberry” Fitzgerald

    Genevieve “Ginny” Esposito

    Alexandria “Lex” Carroll

    Any comments?!

  43. Star_Girl

    These are good tips. I like them.

  44. Laila Kate

    Kressida Aurelius
    Orlaith Aurelius (pronounced Orla)
    Sibylla of Aspenwood
    Erobus Dwyer
    Quintia Galahad
    Taliesin Adelmoed
    Magdalena Cioban
    Ellavetta Komarov

    As you’ve probably guessed, these are for a fantasy story. Names are from different cultures to match with the characters coming from different realms of the country.

  45. Megan Wiles

    I wanted to use the name Eleanor for a character in my story, but i was worried about it being too well-known because of Eleanor and Park. Thoughts?

  46. Giada

    I need help finding a last name for a boy called Matteo. I want it to be of Italian/Spanish origin. Any thoughts?

    • N. Tobi

      Matteo Manzano? It means Apple tree but it was also the last name of my old landlord in Spain.


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