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How to Create Fictional Character Names

There are a few rules that as writer's we should all keep in mind when it comes to naming our characters.  There is nothing worse than reading a book where there is a character who's name doesn't fit their personality.  It makes the story less believable and if your story ever becomes an audio book the name becomes even more important.

Below are my three rules I use when creating names for my characters.  Let me know in the comments how you go about creating names.

Rule #1 - Origins
It is crucial to research the origins of the names that you choose for you characters.  You don't want to end up naming you hero by something which turns out to be a nickname for the devil in some ancient language.  A lot of people won't know the origins of the names but there are some that will and there are some that will look them up.  I'd hate for my story to lose credibility because I hadn't spent some time researching the origins of the names.

Not only do the origins of the names have to be researched but the names have to fit the origins of the character also.  If your story is set on Earth with places that we all know, make sure the names you choose are fitting to both the area and time period that you story is set.  For example, a character born in Asia is likely to have a different name to one born in America.

Rule #2 - Alliterations
If you want to draw attention to a particular character that is going to be crucial to your story, alliterations have a proven track record of making a character memorable.  These are not usually main characters but other characters that support the main story that appear infrequently.

Rule #3 - Read Aloud
If your story ever becomes an audio book you need to makes sure that your character names are spoken clearly.  A good name on paper isn't necessarily a good name to be spoken.


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