Character names

I make up most of my character names. I write paranormal romance so most of my characters are members of the Forest Races and I need to keep that in mind when I name them. Bob and Jo, just won’t cut it.

At the beginning, I used to just randomly collect letters and hope what I came up with was a name…that didn’t work so well. Turns out words aren’t that easy to make up. Besides, I have a tendency to like some letters more than others. My made up names started to sound alike. A nightmare for the poor reader!

What I finally came up with was a game. I chose aย trait that represents the character I’m trying to name and translate that word into another language–usually French or Spanish. Then I change or move one or two letters to fit my needs.

For example, Nior. He’s a norn guard. He’s got a dark side to his personality, so I thought of the word: Noir in French. It means black and I thought it fit him like a glove. I changed the vowels, made sure it ended in an ‘r’ (all norn male names have to end in ‘r’) and voila! I had my name.

I also try to have fun with the names for those characters that are human. I choose some that mean something or are special in some way but I have to be careful not to name them after people I know. I joked with one of my friends that I might name a villain after them and they almost lost their cookies.

Some of my names I love like, Baphrem. I don’t know how I came up with that one but I love it. Others, I like less. The hardest part is figuring out how to pronounce words that don’t actually exist.

How does one say Emmaires properly? Hm…

6 thoughts on “Character names

  1. I hate naming characters — ugh I scour baby name sights for hours. I have a fondness for R names and Z names. Zihn is a hero in one novel, Zareck the other, but my all time favorite names Justin, Alex, Svetlana and Illyria. Oh and Cristia, which I pronounce wrong in my head.

  2. I usually like to give my characters names that have a bit of their personality on them too. But sometimes I come up with some awful names that are so weird ๐Ÿ˜€ So I tone them down now and think of ones I know people won’t have too hard a time reading.

    Baphrem does sound like a nice name, it rolls off the tongue well ๐Ÿ™‚

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