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FilthyYoungDevotchka's avatar

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It drives me insane. When I start writing a story, I envision almost everything quite clearly, except character names. Plus, whatever name or names I do come up with, they seem either too close to someone I know in reality, too plain, or too strange (aka Mary/Gary Sues).

Maybe my characters should just be referred to as Character 1 and 2 until the names come to me.

Being a writer is such a curse sometimes.
(Do you think you can post in larger font? Kind of hard to read. sweatdrop )

Anyway, you're not alone. I have trouble with names too. Sometimes, they come to me, but more often than not, I get stuck in the middle of writing a passage because I can't figure out a good name.

Many people do just use placeholders like Guy Protag or generic names like Bob and just keep going until a good name hits them. So if you think you can deal with it, then go ahead. Whatever it takes to keep you writing!

What I do is pick a culture that I think would suit their background and look up common names from there. When I make a character, sometimes I'll have a general idea of how I want the name to sound or what letter I'd like to start with, which helps narrow it down a bit.

One thing I learned is that it's better to search up common names in a culture rather than go on naming generators since those tend to spew out a lot of generic, cliche, or just plain stupid names.
FilthyYoungDevotchka's avatar

Dangerous Firestarter

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Kairi Nightingale
Do you think you can post in larger font? Kind of hard to read. sweatdrop

Done, sorry about that. It's a habit.
ShowsMeDeath
Kairi Nightingale
Do you think you can post in larger font? Kind of hard to read. sweatdrop

Done, sorry about that. It's a habit.


Thanks. ^.^
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Yeah I have this problem too, I usually think of names later. Sometimes the problem for me is I'm taking the whole "naming" thing too seriously. Really as long as the name is suitable for the character's background/culture that's all that matters. Although when writing plot-lines I often just write main character "MC" for the main character and then stuff like "dumb guy" "best friend" "jerk face" for the rest of them till I come up with names. It's surprisingly easy to keep track of who is who when you do that, and it reminds me what type of person they are, lol.

Edit: It's quite fun to name the bad guy after someone you dislike, especially if they are gonna get owned. Don't worry about using the names of people you know, take advantage of it to have some fun.
Well, picture your character and resemble him/her to the things proper for him/her....for me, if my character is based on a real person, I'd do like this: The name is 'Gary' why don't you stretch the name but the idea of the name is still there >>turns to "Garrett" or something. Also 'Raggi' 'Gardie/Gardy' etc......Hope I helped!
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Quote:
It drives me insane. When I start writing a story, I envision almost everything quite clearly, except character names. Plus, whatever name or names I do come up with, they seem either too close to someone I know in reality, too plain, or too strange (aka Mary/Gary Sues).

Maybe my characters should just be referred to as Character 1 and 2 until the names come to me.

Being a writer is such a curse sometimes.


Haha agreed. If it helps you any, I bought a baby name book from Barnes & Noble. Ever since, it has helped me come up with names. I absolutely LOVE names. I stay alert for anything that could be used as a name. If I'm eating at a restaurant, I listen for the server's name to see if I'd like to use it later. If I ever go to a cemetery, I jot down the names on the tombstone. Or I just look up names on the internet and see what that gives me. Hope that helped. heart
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Hmmm...I usually base my character names on the type of story I'm writing, genre and everything. Of course I like play-on-words too. lol *shrug*

Names can be kind of hard to come up with so I understand, even I have trouble honestly. xD lol

One of my characters in my stories is a female knight named Chardonnay. Yes it's wine, but a character's name doesn't always have to be Dave, or Bob, or Susan, or Janet. xD Think about the story you're writing and the type of genre you're writing, then think up some words, or look up some words, that fit with your genre and play with them a little.

Change one of the letters, abbreviate it, move some of the letters around. ^^ It's ultimately up to you and don't worry about the whole "Sues" thing. I find that limits people and scares them into creating characters. Let your imagination guide you. smile
I usually start out with a word that I think describes that character or look for names that have a certain meaning that would connect with them. Or decide what you want their initials to be, then go through alphabetized baby name sites until you see something that fits. Another idea is to just wait and let it come to you, whether on a TV show, a book, a movie, or as the post before me suggested, a wine bottle! smile

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