1. rayemalice
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    rayemalice New Member

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    Character Name Suggestions?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by rayemalice, Jul 21, 2010.

    I'm in the process of writing a short story, but have been having a hard time naming my main characters. So far I've just given them nonsense filler names, and I think it's time I give them the real names they deserve.

    I'll list the character traits, and please just give me any names that you think sound fitting.

    The first is a teenage boy, about 16 years old, maybe 17. The story is from his point of view. He is very attractive, and girls just swarm around him, but he usually takes little interest in them. As far as personality goes, he thinks he is very average. There's nothing wrong with him, but he's not very memorable. He's gets decent grades in school, is not involved in much else other than doing "typical teenage boy things" with his friends. He can't stand is family and values his solitude. Everything is very black and white through his eyes, until he learns that he himself is not very black and white.

    The second is a teenage girl, 17 years old but wise well beyond her years. She is beautiful from head to toe and has (obviously dyed) bright red hair and hollow gray eyes. She is mysterious and secretive, due to an unfortunate past and the loss of her sight at a young age (this is her strongest trait). She is very blunt and outspoken, yet a generally quiet person. She is nearly always optimistic, until she loses her patience, which doesn't happen often. She hides behind humor to avoid letting people into her mind.

    Thanks for your time and help. :)
     
  2. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Just pick a quite common name. They will grow into it.
     
  3. manali.kotwal
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    manali.kotwal New Member

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    I agree. Any common name should do...
    However, for the girl, I don't know why but Samantha was the first name that came to my mind... it is a common name too...
     
  4. BlueWolf
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    BlueWolf Banned

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    Y'know your name? Of course you do.

    But you had it before you knew who you were, and whatever your name is, people will not point and say "I knew that would be your name because you act so much like one".

    Pick one. Any one. And that'll be a good name.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Writing requires making decisions. This is not a difficult one, as far as writing decisions go, and you can even change your mind later and do a global replace.
     
  6. gabelpa
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    gabelpa Banned

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    behindthename can help with name selections, if you want the name to reflect a character trait. You can also use common names, and the characters will grow in to them. I have a mix of normal english names, and bastardized english names, and some names from my facebook friends of friends.

    A few characters though, including my main character, I just banged on the keyboard and deleted letters until I had something that wasn't too long and sounded OK when said out loud.
     
  7. mintyleeks
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    mintyleeks Member

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    I hate naming characters, but as others have said, you can easily change them, but often you will find that the name sounds more and more like it is the right name the more you say it

    My two names for those two characters would be Tim and Jessica
     
  8. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Swap 'em around and make appropriate gender adjustments: Jesse and Tina.
     
  9. JTheGreat
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    JTheGreat Contributing Member

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    "J" names really jump out to me for your female character. Jacy is the one that caught my eye. No just 'cause I'm JTheGreat, either ;).
     
  10. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    I see the girl as a Holly or a Moriah.

    The guy, Joey or Trevor perhaps.

    But this is your decision.
     
  11. Jane Beryl
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    Jane Beryl Member

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    It is better to pull out your own name for the characters than to let other choose for you. Though, from what everyone else has stated I will also note that since it's in a modern teen scene, it would be good to give them a semi-average name (e.g. Nathan is not as common as John). The more common the name the better. The plain name will make the mysterious character traits pop out more.
     
  12. constant scribbler
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    constant scribbler Member

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    The names have to be right to you. Personally the boy I would name Collin and the girl Jaclyn but don't listen to me. Go to babynames.com or some other source of names and look through those. Sometimes it helps to pick through meaning. Also think of stereotypes you have for certain names, sometimes if you just think of an average teenage boy that is uniterested in the girls that like him a name will just pop out. Make sure the names are something you like and you identify the characters with.
     
  13. KrystalLee
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    KrystalLee New Member

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    Characters shouldn't just have any name. Did your parents just say, "lets name you sam!" no. whatever you name is, they spent long hours depicting what it should be. Same should be with your characters. You are their sole parent, their creator, pick their names wisely!

    Personally I've given all of my characters their own unique names or quite uncommon ones. Damien, Killian, Ferdinand, Tabitha, Phoenix, Garsten, Caius, Darius, Adella, Aquarius, Luminarius, etc. Seriously, give a lot of thought. Another "sam" or "Jennifer" is easily washed away. Boring doesn't stand out, boring doesn't make them memorable.

    Try something different. Perhaps your character is of German decent, Adela would be a good girls name if her parents were German per say. Of course, an average character with an average name would fit perfectly. But remember... average is boring in the eyes of many. For the girl, I think you should give her a "normal name" but have her call herself something else. Perhaps have her parents stick her with Elizabeth to name her after her grandmother, but insead she calls herself Eliza, Beth Ann,Liz, Z, etc. Or have her give herself her own awesome name to reject the ones her parents gave her! She could call herself Ocean and be a hippie!(I have a friend who's really named Ocean. lol) Phoenix is always a pretty one, especially since she died herself.

    Best of luck with the name pickings. :) Its really all up to you. Your the creator!
     
  14. Ragdoll
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    Ragdoll Member

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    Nick and Sarah.
     
  15. Loaded-Dice
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    Loaded-Dice Member

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    Craig & Lucy
     
  16. Taylee91
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    Taylee91 Carpe Diem Contributor

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    Nick and Sarah sound good. Those are common names.

    I like to choose names that are less uncommon though. It makes your characters more memorable. What about Carter and Jazz (short for Jasmine)?
     
  17. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    type behind the name random renamer into google. I use it to come up with names when I am stuck
     
  18. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Watch the credits at the end of a movie. Plenty of interesting names, and randomly placed. A phone book is harder to use this way because the alphabetizing clusters similar names together.
     
  19. DarkRanger
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    DarkRanger New Member

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    Michael and Jennifer
     
  20. Zane
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    Zane Contributing Member

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    I usually, think in a name, that in my opinion suits the character, and then look for lists of surname´s and try to match them together.

    If the story is a fantasy(doesn´t have to be for this) if theres a character who´s main personality is for example "being confident and always full of hope" I try to look for uncommon names with the meanings of the character personality.

    But this is just me, there are lots of ways for this.
     
  21. Tiki
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    Tiki Member

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    I use a working 'name' while writing (lame things like FM-Female Main, MM-Male Main) then I do the switch once I figure out the perfect name (which i do pretty early-names just seem soo important!
    I like the idea of giving her an interesting nickname, and giving him a normalish name- but not too common! I guess if the plot/lesson is the important part of a short story, names can be common, but if the characters are important (and it really seems they are) i think the names need to be interesting.
    Male: Adrick, Kaylen,
    Female: River, Kenzy(McKenzy?),
    Idk, they need to feel right to you.
    Best of Luck!
     
  22. Sang Hee
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    Sang Hee Contributing Member

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    Just try to make your mind to spill out some random word that could sound like a name. Or you can make some name that is derived from the characteristics or look of the character. For example, I have a character that was born in a silver cavern and her hair is silver so her name is Silveria which is a good combo of Silvia and silver.
    The best thing, though, which works for me but might not work for you, is to sketch the character out and write a name you would imagine for it right under the picture and see if it fits.
     
  23. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    For a shorter but easier to grab list, I look at the list of names in the masthead of any magazine.
     
  24. rainy
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    rainy Senior Member

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    I have to disagree with making up a name or picking outandishly unique ones for every character just to be different. Look around you. Your friends are probably Jane, Bob, Sarah (or equivalents for your own country) and then a couple of unique names. Why would your chars world be any different?

    That is, of course, unless it IS different. Maybe it's a fantasy world, in which case, you would need to solidfy that society, and pick or create names that fit it. In short, think of the parents of the character, and the world they live in. What would they name their children?

    Now think about how the character would handle his or her name. Would he be the sort to be called Jimmy, or would he insist on the more serious "James"? Does her middle name belong to her grandmother, who she was closer to than her own mother? Maybe she insisted on being called by her middle name then, as an adult, and only her parents call her by the first name. Once you decide on both the parent's view point and then the character's, let the personality create an image for the name.

    I personally never resort to "John Smith" but, unless the society warrants it, the names are ones you'd likely see thumbing through an abridged baby name book.

    I'm thinking through a sick/medicated fog so hopefully this makes some sense lol

    Best luck,

    //R
     
  25. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    You generally want your characters to have distinct names so the reader ban keep them straight. You may wish to make an exception in some cases, but the characters will have to be sufficiently distinctive in other ways.

    It may not be entirely real world accurate, but the reasons for deviating from absolute realism are worth distorting reality a little.

    Writing isn't like taking a photograph. It is like painting a picture, and it's a good idea to leave out the telephone wires if they detract from the scene. So choose your character names for best effect, not to accurately depict the prevalence of Daves, Richards, and Susans.
     

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