How to name your characters, cultures and/or settings in your book, story or novel.

Linguist must turn in their grave with every fantasy or sience fiction novel. As a writer I personally know that the importance of names is often over looked. When we write, how do we pick the names to sum up a character of whom needs several chapters to be explained?

For me, I give thought to a name but I tend to only worry about how it sounds phonetically and not with nomenclature. That’s an obviously bad statement to make without the right explanation. What I mean is that, to me, since I am creating these environments, cultures and characters, what is the system of naming? In other words, like the god of that world, what names can authors create that best represents our character or a peoples?

I like to use ordinary names for ordinary people and fabricated names for those whom require more explanation or have an exotic character. Which is odd that I would name my protagonist ‘Michael’. Isn’t it? Maybe not. Lets wait until the story is released for me to delve into that explanation.

Other names I have used are Billonius, Hermantus, and more. A completely unique name adds that spice of mystery that inherently asks the reader to care more about the under-introduced character. Begging the question requires an answer that leads to more questions. Or not?

As the author the name gives you a starting place for how to approach your culture, characters and settings. Your system should make since within the realm that you are naming. It may not being as accurate as J.R.R. Tolkien but you will have a more stable leg to stand on if you’re consistent.

I am a writer who loves a good story and likes to discuss my artistic vision with other creative people out there.


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4 Responses to Names

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Names | The Story of Michael --

  2. BlackNekos says:

    When I think up the names for my films, I look for a meaning.


    Sora – The Name means Sky or Wind.

    Skylar – Same as Sora

    Spirit – Lonely, empty a nothingness…

    I am interested in seeing this… good luck.

  3. thestoryofmichael says:

    interesting! I will be sure to update you when I can :)

  4. Emil Lowell says:

    Updating from before,

    I use names with meanings for secondary characters, but for primary characters (mainly protagonists) the names are; Kiara (F), Lowell (M), Emil (M) (I have to have my name in there somewhere), Leon (M), Omega (F) and, a recent addition to the list Charis (F) This way I have an equal spread with names. 3 female, 3 male. My top 6 names used in writing. Each one has a meaning.

    Kiara; “Friendly, Gentle”

    Lowell; “Wolf”

    Emil; “Rival” (But it is my name so the meaning doesn’t matter =P)

    Leon; “Lion, Brave”

    Omega; “N/A” (Omega is a name I use when symbolising a wolf. The ‘Omega’ of the pack.

    Charis; “Grace, Kindness” (Makes writing a lot more awkward in one writing location as one of my friends is called Charis…

    So, More info about the way I come up with names. is one source of information.

  5. Elisa says:

    I think I gravitate between different feelings. When I’ve wanted to present my characters as ordinary people, even if they were the main character, I chose common names. But when I want to show a character as being special, they get an unusual name. Occasionally their name will have a meaning or a cultural significance, and sometimes this is difficult as the name has to be something a reader can easily pronounce!

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