3 Ways To Find Names For Your Characters

Hey y’all!

Can you believe it? My first ever guest post!!

Keep it cool, Ari.

Hey there *awkward, excited wave*. I’m Ari D., but you can just call me Ari. I’m the author of Ari D. Original where I post writing tips, book recommendations, and updates on the story I’m writing, In Wildcat Hollow.

Anyway, today I will be showing you some of my favorite ways to name characters. I hope you enjoy!Screen Shot 2019-02-10 at 2.39.03 PM

1. Names That Fit The Setting

Setting is very, very, VERY important in stories. I can not stress it enough how much setting affects a story.

The setting consists of 2 aspects: the time period it takes place in and the area it takes place in.

When choosing a story that has a particular setting, you may want to name your characters popular names from that time period/place. This helps in the authenticity of the story.

For example, my story, In Wildcat Hollow, takes place in the 1930s and 1940s. Therefore, my minor characters’ names are names that I found on records of popular names in the ’30s and ’40s. Some of them are in the ‘Top 10 Baby Names of the 1930s” list, and some of them are names that have been around for hundreds of years.

If you are using the setting to choose character names, you can either search for popular names in the time period, in the specific area, or both if you want to!


2. Names That Have Meaning

This is one of my favorite ways to name my characters! All of my main characters in every story I’ve written have names that have meaning.

When choosing what I want the meaning to be behind the name, I think about the character’s personality or the character’s arc. If the character is stubborn and hot-tempered, I might choose a name that means “fiery.” If the character goes through a massive self-worth arc, I might choose a name that means “beautiful” or “blessing.”

In my story, all of my characters are based off of real people (head over to my blog for more information on that). I didn’t want them to have their real names, but I also didn’t want to choose a random name. So I looked up the meanings of their real names and then searched for other names with the same meaning.


3. When All Else Fails

When all else fails . . . use a search engine. πŸ˜‰

Honestly, this has saved me a couple of times. If I’m completely out of ideas for names, I’ll use a name generator. Usually I’ll end up using the name as a placeholder until I find a more suitable name, but sometimes the names stick for the entire story.Screen Shot 2019-02-10 at 2.39.03 PM

And that’s all for today! I hope you enjoyed it, learned something, or at least weren’t totally bored by it. If you liked what you saw and want to see more, head over to my blog. πŸ™‚

Lastly, thank you, Mary, for allowing me to guest post! It is a huge, huge, HUGE honor and I could not be more thrilled to do this!


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13 thoughts on “3 Ways To Find Names For Your Characters”

  1. I LOVE these tips, Ari!! I love to use names that have meaning, but I’ve actually never considered making the names accurate to the time period/place!
    Very awesome tips, thank you so much for guest posting for me! πŸ‘

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This is sooo helpful! I find it very hard to come up with or choose a name for my characters. Like, sometimes there are sooo many options while other times it seems like there is none, ya know? Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad you found this helpful! In my fantasy book, I chose names that had specific meanings like in the blog post. But I have a friends who just published her fantasy book. Her book’s country was based in Europe, so she chose popular names from Europe and tweaked them just a bit to make them unique. It was a brilliant idea, I thought.


      1. I have struggled with writing fiction, but my ideas keep nagging me, and so I am trying again. World building was especially intimidating, but again, my idea will not leave me alone. So I decided to develop it and see where it goes. I am thinking of posting it a piece at a time to get feedback.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That sounds like a great idea! Getting feedback is always a great part of writing, whether is constructive criticism to make your writing better or compliments that boost your confidence!! Where will you put out your writing for feedback?


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