Sunday, August 15, 2010

Inventing characters' names

I named my first hero Blade Masters. He's a studly, rich city kid turned sharp shooter who masters everything but the heroine. My WIP heroine is named Joni; her dead mother loved Joni Mitchell.
I think naming characters is one of the 'funnest' aspects of writing. Names can conjure an image, make a statement, generate embarassment or pride for the character. I dislike names that are hard to pronounce or long embellishments of a 'normal' name.


  1. I agree about difficult to pronounce names. Or ones you're not sure how to pronounce. I remember Hermione in the Harry Potter series as an example. I had no idea how to pronounce her name until like the third or fourth book when SHE sounded it out for another character.

  2. Agree about the difficult to pronounce names. Irish name especially. Niamh pronounced 'neeve', Nuala pronounced 'noola', Aislinn pronounced 'ashlin' and as for Siobhan! Had a girl in one of my classes with that name and found out it's pronounced 'Shi-vorn.'
    Moral is, use obvious and easy to pronounce names so that the reader can immediately identify with them.
    One thing I've never known - boy's name Jesse - is that Jess or Jessie?
    But one of my heroines was Jessica, known as
    Another thing I learned - don't have similar sounding names - Annie meets Danny sounds like a line for a limerick LOL.

  3. I like creating names. I used to name my stuffed animals as a kid. :)

    Giving character names and doing research are two of my favorite things about writing.

    I recently bought a book of names and it has come in handy so far.