Blog Chain: How do you come up with your character names?

Hello the Blog Chain of Awesomeness and Everyone Else!

This week’s question, “How do you come up with your character names?” was launched at Gibber Jabber and Sometimes helpful Nonsense…

So here’s my answer…

When my story is more plot or theme driven, I go to and just pick the ones that appeal to me. I generally avoid choosing really common names like Jack, David or Mary…etc. Because those names make me feel like my characters will be assimilated into the sea of people that are called Jack, David or Mary…I think my characters will fail to stand out, if I give them ordinary names.

I don’t really make up names, either. Even when I’m writing a fantasy or sci-fi story, I wouldn’t make up random names. I usaully name my fantasy characters after constellations or people/gods/spirits from mythologies. I guess you can say I am in the middle of the spectrum here. No too too common names, no really strange never seen before and no idea how to pronounce names. 

And I never name my characters after the people around me, uinlike Rebecca. For me, it’s just weird…it’s like I’m creating someone fictional and then that person has my dad’s name………………yeah….it feels too close.

When I write a character-driven story I choose carefully based on the meanings of the name. I really like names that start with “K”, because my name starts with K….haha.

For some reason I really like Japanese names. When I begin to write a story I have to resist Asian-fying my characters. Maybe it’s because I grew up in an all-Asian country and my characters naturally appear to be Asians? I don’t know.

As for last names… I name them after the streets around my house. Haha. So if you study all of my stories and you can probably figure out where I actually live. LOL.

Check out this week’s posts:

Monday- Gibber Jabber and Sometimes helpful Nonsense…
Tuesday- From Elysium
Wednesday- Lin Wang – Teen Writer
Thursday- Girl With A Notebook
Friday- Somewhere Nowhere In My Kingdom

Anyways~for next week:

Monday- Lin Wang – Teen Writer

Tuesday- me

Wednesday- Gibber Jabber and Sometimes helpful Nonsense…

Thursday- From Elysium

Friday- Girl With A Notebook

Go Lin! : D


(sorry I tend to have random outbursts)



5 thoughts on “Blog Chain: How do you come up with your character names?

  1. I don’t like giving my characters the names of people I know either. It’s weird, because I don’t want those people to be like, “Oh, hey, you took my name.”

    It’s not rational, I know. I’m not a very rational person, though. ;-)

  2. Yeah I don’t name my characters after specific people. Though sometimes I may “borrow” cool names of people I know. But even though I always change the last name or the first so the character is a completely separate person.

    Interesting thought about last names with streets XD I draw on last names from places too, since that’s the root of many English surnames.

  3. I never know what to do with last names. Good first names are relatively easy to find, but last names… my characters’ last names end up never being mentioned. I might have to try the street thing, though — that seems like a good idea.

    I agree with it being weird naming characters after people, although sometimes I do steal people’s names. Hopefully they’re people who aren’t going to read my work anytime in the near future…

  4. Un Lun Dun is a children’s urban (?) fantasy, pronounced UnLondon. It’s like…the fantastical version of London. I haven’t read it all the way through because I like to read things in one sitting, so I need to find a 3 hour block of time to sit down and actually read the thing, so I’ll let you know if it’s good. :-)

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