Choosing a Character's Name
Occasionally, a character's name appears on the page without my making a conscious decision. It just shows up while I am writing. This doesn't happen often. Once in a great while, I'll make up a name. Especially if my character is an alien or an elf, but I don't do that for most characters.
Most of the time, I research names and meanings to find the right name, or in the case of my were-characters, names. Except for werelions. (Lions are too arrogant to allow their beasts to have a separate name.)
The name not only has to look and sound right for the character, if there is a deeper meaning to it, it has to match the character, too.
There are a few web pages that I like to peruse, but when looking for a specific name, for instance, a character from a specific country and/or century, I will do a web search. Then my search string might be something like, "male names 17th century England" which returns the list below.
After selecting a link, I'll go to the site and hopefully find an appropriate name for my character.
Some of my favorite name sites include:
If I can't find what I need at those sites, I do a search.
Characters of the Texas Ranch Wolf Pack Series
As you might think, writing a series with so many names can be confusing. For both the writer and the reader. To keep the names and their relationships in mind, I created a chart. Some of these characters were only mentioned in passing, or I took note of them for future reference.
When the clowder is adopted by Nate in book 2, I added the names of all 26 new characters, even if they weren't specifically mentioned in the text. If you look closely, you'll see some names you haven't used, yet.
Click here to download the PDF of the chart below.
If you are a writer, how do you come up with names for your characters?