Forums » Character Profile & Development

Character Names

    • 2 posts
    November 6, 2012 5:11 AM PST

    How do you choose a proper character name? Does the name usually have something to do with the character's personality or some other trait, like a foreshadowing of things to come?


    Do you need to choose the character's name at the beginning, or is it something you can easily change along the way?

    • 8 posts
    November 21, 2015 9:08 AM PST

    In my opinion the character is more important than the name. If we think of ourselves, what does our name say about us? I would say that in my case it gives no indication at all as to who I am regarding my character or character traits.

    Jason, your name, Jason Smith gives no real indication of who you are except that you a male. One could read far too much into it. For example, 'Jason' your parents were fascinated with Greek mythology? Smith? However, the name sounds good and trips of the tongue well and would suit many characters. And that is what is important. 

    Fleming got the name James Bond from an author of a bird book.

    I think some names end up being ridiculous in novels and more so when film stars used to have a name given to them. 'Rock Hudson'? 

    Of course we have to stick to national and cultural names. I get most of my French names from a calendar that gives the saints' names. I google for gypsy names and Spanish. I'm working on a novel which is set partly in S Africa so I've been looking up Xhosa and Zulu names to make sure they are authentic. Other than ensuring the name one uses fits the culture and nationality and gender and time period I don't think names are important. Best to concentrate on the character, in my opinion.

    Fran Connor