What Are Some Tips for Naming a Character in a Fantasy Novel?


Quick Answer

When naming characters in a fantasy novel, the most important thing to consider is how well the name fits the personality of that character. Their name shouldn't be too weird or difficult to pronounce, and ideally has a nice ring to it. One of the best places to start in the search for character names is with familiar names. By creating new combinations of standard first and last names, the character sounds real, complex and relatable.

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Full Answer

Good names for characters can come from anywhere. Street signs, movie credits and even commercial products can provide the inspiration needed to find the perfect name. For a quick list of character names, use index cards to provide numerous combinations of first and last names. This technique can be useful when attempting to name an entire cast of characters for a novel. After coming up with a new character name, listen to how it sounds out loud in order to make sure it sounds as real as possible.

For a really clever character name, use the meaning of the name to reinforce a certain aspect of a character's personality. If a character is known for intelligence for example, use a name whose root literally means intelligent. To draw special attention to a particular character, use alliteration at the beginning of the first and last names. This adds particular emphasis and importance to the character, but can come across as heavy-handed if not done artfully.

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