4 Ways to Find Character Names

We’ve all been there. We’ve all had that amazing story idea with those amazing characters. The only problem? We have no idea of what to name them. Sure, we sat down and thought and thought, but with little success. And now? You’re in this dreaded situation.

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The notebook of a writer in the dreaded situation. Observe what’s written. Nothing.

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“It’s hopeless” you think. “I will never ever find a name and my story will be ruined forever!” Until now.

I have created a list of 4 (Yes, we are keeping the theme going) different ways to find names for your characters. Without further ado, here it is!

1. Consult a baby name book

They have a lot of names in them, and one of them could be your character’s. I have used this method a few times, and it’s very helpful for providing inspiration . Plus, it gives you the name’s meaning so if your one of those people who like that, this method is for you!


2. Stay for the movie credits

I know, I know. Watching the movie credits is extremely boring. But, so many people went into the making of the movies you watch (Landscapers, interns, researchers), that there is sure to be some very interesting names for characters. Even if you are not writing a book, you can make note of them for future stories. Most of them are a lot more interesting than I would have been able to come up with unaided.

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What you should have by now 🙂

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3. Go visit a historical cemetery

If there happens to be a historical cemetery near your house, go visit it! Before you think I’m crazy, please understand that not only will you be able to get some great names, you might be able to see the graves of local celebrities (#History).

There is a cemetery  near my house that I was able to volunteer at and get some service learning hours. I also was able to get some interesting names and see the graves of people who schools and roads are named after in my town. That was a win-win-win situation! 🙂

And finally….


4. Look through your old yearbooks

Sorry homeschoolers, but this method is for public or private school kids! 😦 Let’s be honest. In our early days of yearbooks, we were only obsessed with our pictures and our friend’s picture. There were grades full of names that we didn’t care about. Those yearbooks are a writer’s gold mine. Not only are there names, but there are pictures!

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Those pictures may or may not have been taken with this camera 🙂


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Those pictures can be used for character inspiration. In school, there are kids with many different backgrounds with names and pictures to use.



So, what did you all think of those ways to find names? Have you ever used any of them? How do you find names for your characters? I would love to know!

I hope you all have a lovely Fourth of July!





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