View Full Version : Character Names

March 8th, 2011, 07:48 AM
Character names are a true hobby of mine. I am always on the lookout for great character name and keep a small notebook of interesting names.

When I find a great name, if I don't have a character for it, it goes into the latter pages of The Plot Book.

I believe itís essential to have the right name for your characters.

For instance, would it surprise you to know that Margaret Mitchellís first name for her heroine in Gone with the Wind was Pansy, and not Scarlett?

I chose the name Sage McCall for my heroine in Lights, Camera. Murder! Sage seemed to me a very California name my heroine hailing from Los Angeles.

My heroine in Your Cheatin Hearts is named, Shelby McGregor. The name Shelby was chose for a small regional town in North Carolina and McGregor as many Scotts settled in the North Carolina Mountains. Their descendants still populate the region; thus, a character was born.

Both heroinesí names were influenced by the region.

The most common source of names is the Name the Baby Book and there are hundreds of them online.

Is your character of Scottish descent, or Italian or French? Choose then from French or Scottish names or whatever country or region your characters family may hail from.

As you are choosing the name, also notice its meaning. My sonís name is Michael which means Gift from God, and that he is.

Unique and unusual first or last names can also be found in the credits of a movie or television show. Remember not to use the first and last name of a living person but its fun and productive to mix and match.

When choosing your name for your hero or heroine or secondary character; keep in mind the age of the character. Ethel was a popular name in my great auntís day, and I will use Ethel when selecting a name for a character who is in her seventies. So look at popular names of the decades for ideas.

One last thought on names. If your heroineís name is Jane donít make your hero John. Try to keep from using the same initial for the hero and heroine or a secondary character. If you use the same initial it may

Tomorrow we begin to Plot the mystery-romantic suspense novel!

Please share your favorite names, how you chose your character's name.

Thanks everyone for joining me today! See you online at Coffeetime!


For More Information on Linn Random visit www.LinnRandom.com
Linnís books are available at Coffeetime Romance.
Autographed Books are available at Amazon.com

March 8th, 2011, 10:20 AM
In my work in progress I gave Michaela her name because I needed to create an air of mistaken identity (the hero thinks he's looking for a man) and Brock Logan received his because I've seen way too many soap operas.

But some of my favorite names to use are Astrid, Michael, Dexter, Leo, Simmone, Elisabeth to name a few.

March 8th, 2011, 12:19 PM
In my historical series about Welsh immigrants in 1880s Arizona, I used the three most common Welsh names for the brothers: Dylan, Evan, and Huw, with a surname of Jones. The women they fall for are Sarah Hudson (rancher's daughter), Reyna Montoya Svenson (Mexican widow and mystic), and Sally Ivers (madam - who really was a "soiled dove" in Tombstone at the time).

For my mystery, my hero is named Alec Bergen, from L.A. His nosy landlady in TN is Mavis Hillsborough, aka "Sweet Tea" (based not so loosely on my mother-in-law). Mavis will be his unwanted assistant whose interference actually gives him the solution to the mystery. His reluctant romantic interest is Kate McGann, a Southern gal educated "up North" who comes home to live an unconventional life and will end up rescuing him from danger. I just haven't plotted out what that mystery and danger will be yet...


Red Dragon
March 8th, 2011, 04:50 PM
I've heard that names influence our character and I like the symbolism in names so I always check my Book of Baby's Names or Google to see if I can better the one I chose. In my medieval Swiss time-travel, The Unhewn Stone, I chose Stefan Gessler as my protagonist because I knew a Swiss boy named Stefan (it means 'crown' and although not perfect was adequate. I would have preferred 'the Chosen One' but 'crown' is close). 'Gessler' because my character is the descendant of the tyrant governor in the W. Tell legend.
The females are Heidi (of course) she is the innocent in the modern world, Ursula (latin, she-bear) the sibyl(prophetess).
In my fantasy The Elfin Bride, I used a random fantasy name generator and came up with Isade for my heroine. I can't find out what it means but it sounds similar to Isabelle which means 'God hath sworn'. Since my Isade is a human baby abducted by a dragon, this name really is appropriate. It suggests to me she is protected.

March 8th, 2011, 05:09 PM
I use this site for character names:

and this site will give you the characterisitics of a name, which sometimes helps to see if a name fits your character:


sylvie kaye

March 8th, 2011, 06:06 PM
In one of my works in progress, the eldest sister owns a club called Mystickale, and each letter represents one of the sisters names.

M - Mackenzie, Y - Yasmine, S - Selene, T - Taylor, I - Imogene, C - Cadence, K - Kendra, A - Adelaide, L - Leticia, E - Eliza.

March 8th, 2011, 07:14 PM
Wow, great names everyone!

Sylvie, thanks so much for posting that reference!

I just love what everyone suggested. You all get an A++ for picking perfect names for your characters!!


March 8th, 2011, 07:34 PM
In my book More Than A Stud, main character is a male model part vampire. His name became Shane Richards. His love interest is Jamie Donovan, a photographer by day and vampire slayer at night. A mutual friend of their's is Glow Walker. in my current WIP the main character's name is Talon Torran, a vampire & tracker of renegade vampires. His love interest is Dillon McCain, a homicide detective.

March 9th, 2011, 07:13 AM
Jerry, great job! You and every one here put a lot of thought into your character names.

I love all of them, hooray! Linn

March 9th, 2011, 10:14 AM
Thanks Linn. Now i can't wait for your plotting lesson.

March 9th, 2011, 07:38 PM
Glad you are enjoying the class, Jerry!