How To Create A Good Character | Names


Welcome to the first chapter of a series all about creating a good character. I am not an expert, but this is just my general experience and what I've noticed from other authors. In the past few years I've created a lot of characters and all of them are different and unique, like all the other 6.999.999.999 people I live with on this planet called earth. This was actually going to be one post, but as I had already written quite a lot for only names, I decided to make it into chapters. 

Disclaimer: I do not mean to offend anyone, this is my personal opinion and experience. 

Characters are by far the most crucial aspect of your book. If you characters are shallow and unrelatable your readers most likely will put your book into the darkest
Characters are the most crucial aspect of your book. Your characters are what makes your book interesting, without a good character your reader will lose interest. However, it's a task that does not come easily. Today we discuss: Names




From the day we were born
All of us were gifted with a name by our parents, they have spent hours looking on baby names websites looking for the perfect name for their precious child. Sometimes they name them after a celebrity they have alway loved. Names are as important in a book as they are in daily life.

The name of a character might be more important than most of us realize. I personally enjoy seeing uncommon names, and to find those I spend hours looking on baby name websites, which occasionally causes a diaper commercial to pop up when I'm watching a Youtube vid. But even though I love a unique name, it can't be too complicated.

I'll remember you
Why a name is so important is because your readers will likely remember that name for a few years or maybe even the rest of their live. That is why you should always be careful by picking a really unique almost unpronounceable name. For example, I have thought for a really long time that Feyre was pronounced as Fay-ruh and not much later Amber talks about someone named Fah-ruh, and I become  utterly confused. The best solution for that however, is a simple pronunciation guide at start or end of your book.

Tip: Let a friend or family member try to pronounce the name, if it is really too hard for them, consider alternating the name or choosing a different one entirely.

The origin and the character
Now this is something I have noticed quite a few times, especially in fan fictions, the name doesn't match with the ethnic of the character. For instance, I was reading this fan fiction about Mystic Messenger (Yes, Mystic Messenger) and the girl was supposed to be Korean but had a Japanese name. I am guessing the writer is an anime fan and really likes Japanese names because they are unique and pretty.

Let me straight up and honest with you. If your character is for example Korean, and the story is set in Korea, there will be a 0.2% chance that her parents would actually give her a Japanese name. That's unless the true ethnic of the character is actually Japanese. Giving the character a name that does not fit the setting of the story or the ethnic of the character, can make your story  a lot less realistic.

The true meaning
If you're having a difficult time choosing a name for your character, try searching by the meaning of the name. Think about what kind of person this character is, what does he or she stand for, how do you want to portray them. I have done this numerous of times and I always end up finding perfect names for my characters.

There are quite a few sites on names and their meanings, but I have always loved using behindthename.com. This site never let's me down and they're reliable. So you can thrust the information on the website.

Basically, just try to have some fun with it and keep it realistic. As I said before, this might be a name that will stick with a reader for a long time. So of course you want that name to be unique.
I hope these tips were helpful,

Yours truly,

Shania

 Question of the day
What's the name of your character and what does it mean?


2 comments:

  1. You bring up some good points. Please--always be straight up and honest with us!

    In reference to the "I'll Remember You" section, it is a kindness when authors refrain from having any two characters with similar-sounding (or looking) names or names that begin with the same letter or sound. I particularly dislike cute name/nickname puns ("Peter's pater" instead of "Pete's dad" or "Stormy" for a timid female).

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    1. Indeed! A very good point I forgot to add! I personally always make sure that none of my characters names sound the same, even if it's just the beginning of their name. For instance Erin and Ariel.
      Thanks for your comment :)

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