One of the best (and most frustrating!) part of writing a novel, if you ask me, is coming up with names. Whether it’s a name for a character, shop, kingdom, or whatever — it’s really quite difficult. But also fun too. You want to come up with something memorable, pronounceable (this is an important one, especially in fantasy… there are so many unpronounceable names in that genre it’s not funny!)
So where are you supposed to find these perfect names?
The internet, other books, people I know or have heard on, sometimes I’m even inspired by other languages… the list goes on, really. There are so many places to find names yet I find that it can take a lot of time to find that perfect name. But with me, once I know that name, it sticks. I’ve never ever changed the name of my protagonist. (I have with side characters and place names, though.)
Here are a few of my favourite sites. And, er, yes, they’re baby name sites.
Nameberry — This one is particularly awesome, might I add.
Behind the Name — This one is good for people who are searching for names which have a meaning
Baby Names — A good, easily-navigable site
Baby Name Wizard — Really, I just like the same of this one…
Are names really that important??
I suppose they’re not. I’d rather a novel to be amazing and have crappy names, rather than the visa versa. But to me… they’re important. I will literally spend hours searching for the prefect name! I mean, after all, you’re going to have to work with these names for the rest of the novel… so you’d better like them!
Just for the heck of it, I thought I would share some of the names I’ve used for my protagonists in previous/current novels.
Talyn (pronounced the same as “talon”, but I thought it looked cooler this way…)
I was pretty proud of these names. Most of them took a long while for me to figure out, but there were some names (Ava and Evony in particular) that had their names long before their story started. Others took more time to find, but overall, I was pleased with these names and I haven’t changed them once. (And yes, they’re all female; I haven’t got the courage to write from a male perspective unless it’s in third person. Don’t think I could do it right.)