Naming characters

Character names are always hard for me. I tend to like unique or obscure names and I rarely use last names. Most of what I write is fantasy so last names aren’t super important for every character so I shouldn’t complain. I also try really hard not to have names that sound too alike or start with the same letter in the same story. My Nanowrimo project is a middle grade fantasy. This tale has been rattling around in my head for over a year but it wasn’t until this October that I decided it was time to sit down and write it. Until very recently only the main character had a name. While I’ve been writing I’ve been using place holders for the three other main characters and a couple of side characters that have shown up so far. It’s a little time consuming to have to stop and think about typing FAIRY, BOY, CENTAUR, and TROLL every time but I didn’t want to assign a random name that might stick. That all started to change a couple of days ago. In my nano group several people started posting in the forums about name generators, baby name sites, etc. I’ve scoured baby name sites but they don’t generally have good options for non humans. I checked out some of the name generators but most didn’t have enough options. Then I stumbled on one that actually helped.

If you check it out, it might be a bit overwhelming because there are so many things to look at but it’s truly worth it, in my opinion. I didn’t pick any of the two name choices but I saw some first names that I had never heard of and that got my mind rolling.

So after much searching and more thinking I have named my most important characters. Levi, who is a human boy who has a little magic. Yes I know I’ll have to come up with a last name, and I dread it greatly. Nox is a female troll. She’s really pretty and hates it because it makes it hard for her to scare anyone. There is a centaur named Cevon. He’s near sighted and therefore terrible at archery.

I often wonder if other people have as difficult a time as I do with names. Don’t take this wrong, but I certainly hope so. I’d hate to think I’m the only one. However, if you’re great at naming characters, please feel free to share your wisdom.

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