One of the hardest parts of writing a story has always been developing character names. Often times, I have troubled thinking of a name I haven’t used already. This can be a big problem, especially when I do most of my early plot planning and character development in my head. Since I can’t be the only writer having this problem, here are 3 Ideas for Developing Character Names:
1. Movie Posters
The other day I was trying to come up with a name for one of my characters in one of my projects. Then I looked up at my wall and saw my posters on my wall. As I ran the character’s and actor’s first names through my head as ideas, I realized that Jeremy was a perfect name for my character.
2. Family and Friends
Whether you realize it or not, your family and friends have names that are often perfect for your character. If you are shaking your head and rolling your eyes, here are a few examples: Abby Shoemaker (The Gotham Orphan), Alena Shanai (The Gotham Enigma first draft), and Daniel Richardson (Beyond S.H.I.E.L.D.), and many more.
I use this one all the time! If I can’t come up with a name that fits the character fast enough, I will try using a word that relates to the character and mix it up. For example the last name of Sergeant Datec (one of the teachers at Mandalore’s Academy from The Phantom Jedi) is an anagram of Cadet. 🙂 I use this technique for both last and first names, and often use it to include hidden meanings.
An anagram is direct word switch or word play, the result of rearranging the letters of a word or phrase to produce a new word or phrase, using all the original letters exactly once” ~ Wikipedia
Of course, once you come up with the name you should write it down . . .
But that is another blog post.