Character Names II

Names come from everywhere. But the most important source, albeit unreliable, is your own brain.

There are several ways to use your brain to craft character, country, or weird species names with your brain. These ways I have found useful.

The first way is to use real words. They could be nouns, adjectives, or adverbs or anything. We don’t always realize it, but there are words that really impact us. Serve reminds me of a horizontal sword edge. Trust has a outer layer. Think about various words and the feelings, thoughts, and emotions that come to your head when you focus on them. The out from the word “chariot” beige, a faint red, and white comes. Hope is round, a pomegranate. Don’t worry if they sound weird, just focus on the thoughts that come to surface.

Focusing on words lets you become more familiar with them. By this time Chariot is as natural as “sword” or “and.” Hey, did you notice Chariot was capitalized? If you didn’t you’re getting familiar with the word too. So familiar it could be a name. It does look cool on the screen doesn’t it? Try saying it. Chariot. If you had to give a character that name, what would he be like. Recall the thoughts you had of that word. Do they match the character you came up with, if not in personality, just appearance?

Try this with a few different nouns. Be bold. Daring. I’m looking at the WordPress editor, and I see an image of a gear. Gear. The guy with that name could also have the name Hector or Frank. Or Wrench. Here’s a risky one. Publish. A last name, maybe. Gear Publish. Gear Publish. Gear Publish. Gear Publish. Does it sound normal yet?

Words don’t always work as names. Preview might be one of those (this is all from the editor). It doesn’t look good on paper, first of all, and sounds odd for an MC. How can we change it to sound good? First, focus on the sounds of the word. I think it sounds French. If you enunciate the last syllable and pucker your lips, you get more of an ü (strong “oo”) sound. Now focus on the feelings you get from the word. I see a very, very, very light purple, almost white, with very, very, very faint codes in the background in a slightly darker purple.


That’s not bad. It sounds like “prune” which is purple as well. It still sounds French. I’m thinking an LOTR Elf-like girl, pale skin, light blue eyes.

What’s another one. If I look back on what I’ve written so far, I see the word “ways.” This too, is not all that good by itself. Sound it out. Draw the feelings. What if we try to draw a larger attention to the “s” sound at the end. Wayss. It looks cool on paper. Say it. Does it sound cool? If you take the “w” away, it sounds like “ice.” Can that be expanded upon? What other words come into your head? Snow, cube, frozen…

You can also play with words in a more bold way. Sdrawkcab meht plif. Flip them backwards. Some words, like preview, don’t work backwards. But some do, and turn into completely different sounding words, or names if you like them enough. Snow. Wons. Not bad. Cube. Ebuc. Maybe not for a character, but for an old brooke or stream. Perhaps if you change the spelling, it would work better. Frozen. Nezorf. A Dwarf name, a mountain troll, something like that. Snake. Ekans. I love this one. It brings a feel of aboriginal life, daring and hunting. Chair. Riahc. If you take off the “c,” you’ll get a cool sounding name, that looks cooler on the page and is easier to say as Ryah.

Did you see how many names we just created? Go back and count. You’ll find ten, some that need work, some that are perfect.

If you try these exercises, you’ll come up with tens of completely original names. Here are some promts:

  • Come up with ten names using these methods. Revise them and make them perfect. If there’s one you don’t like, ditch it and make a new one. Try to use words that impact you and bring various emotions or thoughts in your head. Or you can be more daring an look around your room and use what they’re called to make names. Slippers. A clumsy servant who has a Cockney accent. Camera. Aremac. Erema. A girl whose parents never said goodbye…
  • Come up with the owners of these names, trying to use the feelings that come with the word there name was based off of.

Thank you. To God be the glory.


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