Writing Resource: What’s in a Name?

Naming characters can be a difficult task. Sometimes they just come to me, and other times I search and claw and bang my head against the keyboard (figuratively, at least).  

I want the name to not only feel and sound right, but also to convey some sort of meaning (at least most of the time).  I’ve been guilty of trolling names site for so long that I use up all of my writing time (I would never procrastinate).

Favorite Free Resources

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Below are some of my favorite sites for finding names for characters:

  • Behind the Name: First Names: Give your novel more depth by choosing names carefully.  Find out about the etymology here.
  • Behind the Name: Surnames (Last): History of last names divided by nationality.
  • Patron Saints names and their patronage.
  • Name Generator for character names and a personality profile based on Meyers Briggs (so fun!).
  • Name generator based on gender and nationality.
  • Fantasy Name Generator.  Okay, this is just for fun, but once in a while I need to take a break.
  • Meaning of Names Type in a meaning and get a list of names. Boom.
  • Name Berry allows you to search for names with a specific ending, beginning, or containing options.
  • Fake Name Generator creates a name and character profile for you.
  • Baby Name Pedia is a beautiful website that lists similar names, actors, rock stars, and lots more.

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Character Board

I also have a board on Pinterst that includes everything for a character–appearance, personality, etc. Click here to see the board.


Saint’s Names

My writing partner, Tamar Hela, gave me the link to the Saint’s Names site above. She has some awesome free resources on her site, too. Click here.

Do you have any great resources for names? If so, I would love to hear from you. 🙂


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2 responses to “Writing Resource: What’s in a Name?”

  1. I once wrote a trilogy of novels set in a fictional village only to find another author had already moved in there! Had to change the name, naturally. So it’s not just characters’ names you’ve got to be careful with!

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