The Writing Newbie

Writing is an adventure. Enjoy the journey and write the way you love!

Monday, March 1, 2010


I see a lot of questions everyday about people wondering how to name their characters. Most often they have a number of names in mind and don’t know how to choose. But sometimes you can’t think of any name at all!
Personally I think it doesn’t help to ask complete strangers on yahoo or a site like that. Because they don’t know your character. Character’s are like your own children, you know them best. And you should name them.

Naming your character

Step 1: Get the most detailed picture of your character possible. What does he look like? What does he like and dislike? What is his personality like? Is he nice, snobby, mean, annoying, helpful?

Step 2:
I’m sure you’ve all met people and thought: your name really suits you. Or people whose name don’t suit them at all. A girl who always dresses in black and it kind of depressing to be around the name Summer doesn’t really suit her a name like Raven would suit her better. If you have a stuck up boy and old fashioned name like Winston or James suits him better than a name like Tom. Of course this isn’t a rule, but you could think to yourself what kind of name will suit your character best.

Step 3: Babies. What? No really. Try going to baby sites such as They are the best sites to get inspiration for your names. If you want names from a certain area or age, you could also search Google. Searches like “names from the 1700 in France” probably give you a lot of great hits.

Step 4: Make a list of your favorite names and ponder about all of them some time. Don’t decide right away. I know my parents made a list like this before I was born. For instance if I had been born a boy, my name would have been Daan.

Step 5: Try to narrow it down to your top 2. Then choose. This is the hard part of course. You could try writing a piece which introduces your character, or a random scene featuring your character. Try out both names. You’ll probably like one better than the other.

I hoped this helped you along on the painful naming process of your characters! Of course you can also have names in languages that don’t exist… but I’ll come back on that another day.

Keep writing!

Xx LordKiwii


  1. Wow! I get that you are trying to help and that you want to pass on your knowledge to those who are just starting out (unlike you who has been writing for eight years out of what like 17)<- {sarcasm in case you missed it}. I would never have been so arrogant at seventeen to think that my knowledge should be passed on. Personally I disagree with some of your advice straight out.
    I guess I expected that you wouldn't be answering questions like you were a professional author but making suggestions, dropping links and having readers check out authors and writers with whom they could find the application of certain types of writing.

    I support your right to do as you will but I think the world is crazy that inexperienced people can be fronting like they know something.

  2. Hi anonymous,

    Surprisingly enough you guessed right, I've been writing for about 8 years. Personally I find that enough to know a thing or two about writing. More than people who just started anyway.
    And I call my blog the writers NEWBIE. That means I'm relatively new to this too. What I write in these blogs are tips and advice that work for ME. They're not rules or anything. I'm just trying to help people out here. And I don't see anything wrong with helping people.
    And whether you've been writing 2 years or 20 years, you always have a lot to learn. That goes for me, you and everyone who visits this blog. So no, it's not perfect. And perhaps you don't agree to some things but this is the best I can do now. And I'm happy that I'm actually helping people out here.

    What you expected from my blog sounds interesting, you may want to start it yourself.

  3. Hi! Thanks, this really helped me name like ten of my characters?!?! I'm always rubbish at choosing names!
    Thank you! :D

  4. I just wanted to say to anonymous to just, shut up. All these tips make sense. All these tips I've read about somewhere or another in well published and respected places, such as Writer's Digest. Or from authors who make their living as authors. Not that I'm saying you're practicing copyright infringement, but just that these tips WORK. They are common sense once you've been writing for longer than two days. So to the first anonymous... get a grip. I suppose YOU are a well respected and liked author, and know everything. (<-- sarcasm)

    On a happier note, this blog is good. I would just like to add one more thing. If all of the above tips fail, ask your character! I know, I sound slightly psychotic, but it works. It's just like conducting a character interview to get to know your character better.

    :) -AMC

  5. It was really helpful to read this..thank you!

  6. @ the first anonymous:

    I suppose you know better then? Why don't you post a link to your amazing site that gives starting writers tips? These tips actually work pretty well!
    AMC actually summed it up pretty nicely :)

    @ AMC

    Good job :)