1. FinalStar

    FinalStar New Member

    Aug 20, 2009
    Likes Received:


    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by FinalStar, Apr 18, 2011.


    I was wondering how other writers come up with names for there characters? Also names for anything else. Such as Kingdoms, spaceships, companies; whatever needs a name really.

    Names have always been a sticking point for me. I will be writing and come to a town to name. Boom! I'm stuck and cant seem to move past it.:confused::(

    any tips or advice would be gratefully appreciated
  2. Elgaisma

    Elgaisma Contributor Contributor

    Jun 12, 2010
    Likes Received:
    KISS. Keep it simple stupid kind of comes to mind with naming.

    For example where is your town located, what size is it, is it an Island, Archapelego, land locked, huge coastline etc Names like East Church, Sea Town, Greater Splot, I have even seen Big Town and Little Village or Titch Hamlet used to effect or who discovered it Fredricksville etc The same with the countries - I used Covesea for one then I tweaked countries Scotia, Medtereanea, Ceylonica, - use old names like Moravia, Caledonia. Description - Diamond Isle, The Jing Coast (Jing is an ore). I use small village names from where I live for other Burghead, Culbin, Fogwatt etc Or mix and match towns that already exist I have an Aberburgh and a Glassdee.

    For people I just go through a random renamer on a names site choosing the origin and flick until I get a name I like the sound with a meaning that fits.
  3. Trilby

    Trilby Contributor Contributor

    Jun 21, 2010
    Likes Received:
    NE England
    This as been mentioned before.

    For christian names - a baby book of names.

    For surnames - the phone book.

    Works for me -so far.

    As for towns and cities, I have, so far never needed to make one up, I just use what is out there, London, Newcastle, Glasgow...
  4. spklvr

    spklvr Contributor Contributor

    Oct 29, 2010
    Likes Received:
    Sarpsborg, Norway
    There is actually a town name generator. Just search in google. I like all those name generators if I'm completely stuck, also with characters.
    Normally though, I just try out names for a while until I see what fits my character. I also tend to choose names that are normal, but not that common. Like Genevieve, Lucille, Krista, etc.
  5. Yoshiko

    Yoshiko Contributor Contributor

    Jun 14, 2009
    Likes Received:
    When I've a character in mind they usually have a name already - I rarely have to think about it. If I don't have a name for them then I sit and wait until one comes to mind or I come across a name that seems to fit them. Sometimes I don't even like their names; if I'm daydreaming and a character addresses another by a certain name then that name will stick. This is how I named my hamster, Haru, too - I didn't sit and think of a name for him, I just waited until I ended up calling him something naturally.

    I set my novel in the real world so I don't need to name anything else - I just need a map.
  6. SeverinR

    SeverinR New Member

    Feb 15, 2011
    Likes Received:
    New Madison Ohio
    Town names are fairly simple, people named towns and cities way back.
    Simple names using a characteristic of the area,
    Oakland, Pine harbor, Quickbrook, Sweetwater, Long meadow, etc

    Cities and towns can be named after people also.

    There are fantasy name generators, or for moddern stories use baby name books or phone books.
  7. Enerzeal

    Enerzeal New Member

    Apr 4, 2011
    Likes Received:
    I prefer fantasy but I've written some sci-fi before, first I check wether the names are going to be unusual or ordinary, if its ordinary a baby name website usually does the trick.

    If I want unusual then you can pretty much throw a jumble of letters together and end up with a name.

    Elistas, Ettain, Gindald, Faine - just a random jumble of words that sounds like a name.

    Towns are much more difficult but if its a fantasy world, then get a scheme. City names need to be powerful and singular, Aringol, Lithanta. Towns you can have more fun with, often putting the word town in there, Greytown, New Bilthering, Glint-on-the-river. Lastly villages tend to be more quaint, usually a map that accompanies your story world helps in this regard, villages near mountains, rivers, woods, frozen lakes, lakes - they can all infuence the name.

    In the wheel of time, the two rivers is named because of its location between rivers.
  8. JTheGreat

    JTheGreat New Member

    Feb 7, 2010
    Likes Received:
    Everywhere and Nowhere
    I name character partially with consideration of how they look like (when I hear names I can sort of imagine hair and eye color), and for places I either use a random generator if it doesn't matter all that much, but I do have a growing list of place names to use on my computer.
  9. Azeher

    Azeher New Member

    Apr 16, 2011
    Likes Received:
    I love creating names! But since that's a fact everytime I try to think of one lots of ideas concentrate in my brain, overwhelming me and confusing me OR they just all vanish and I can't come up with anything. It's horrible!

    So, this is what I do. I look for names for my characters on those "pick a name for your baby webs"; if I want to create something different I start throwing weird words until I find one that I like.

    With places (of this era and time) I usually join words: Rivertree, or Woodstack or Playa Dorada or Puerto del Este or Cascada Blanca.
    If they're from a different universe or time I use again the method of throwing weird words until I like one.
  10. aimi_aiko

    aimi_aiko New Member

    Apr 1, 2011
    Likes Received:
    I usually make mine up. Though sometimes if I want something that originates in a certain country, I'll google if of course.

Share This Page