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Character Names

Ahhhhhhh. Even the title of this post sends a shiver of pure joy down my spine. As you can well imagine character names are one of my favorite aspects of being a writer. To say I don’t even have to think about the names of the characters I write is sort of an understatement. I think of a character and his attributes and the name sort of just pops into my head. I save a shitload on baby name books. Just sayin.

The other neato thing about character names is sometimes you get to have goofball fun with em, sometimes you get to name them after people you know, sometimes you get to name them after people who piss you off and you can make them die a horrible death, and sometimes you get to do cool things with the names.

Like in my first book, the main character’s name is Ashlyn (goes by ash) Rowan Thorn. I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for witches, Wicca, and magic. Well as it turns out, Ashlyn’s mom was a witch. So it felt natural to name her after three trees sacred to practitioners of wicca.

In my latest work, My Soul to Keep, I actually named two of the main characters after my own kids. My son is a published author himself, but I thought it would be coolio to let them both see there names in a book and know it was written for them. Plus Connor and Caelyn are cool names.

Coming soon in the third installment of the Demonkin Series, I had a contest on the Demonkin Webpage. The winner of said contest got to be any character (good or bad) of any species (vamp, were, elf, etc.) The winner of the contest LUCKILY has a kick ass name. Congrats REYNA!

So. What can a name do for a character? I’m SO glad you asked 😉

Below are some examples. See if you can fit the character description to the name. (Yes. I AM that bored)


Natashate Takashiro

1) A rogue samurai warlord from New Jersey

2) A sweaty Publix bagboy

3) A fifth grade German teacher

4) Owner of the Pizzeria Classico (Coincidentally a front for a local meth ring)

*If you guessed 1 or 2 you would have been correct


Elendor Witherwhil

1) Current Southbeach resident and winner of the MR. UNIVERSE competition.

2) Curator at the local headshop

3) An overweight vampire hunter

4) An elven healer from the forests of Tanmuil

*1 or 4 would have been correct


Galok Skullcrusher

1) a peaceful librarian

2) The actual name of my Terminex spray technician

3) Maker of fine silks everywhere

4) An orcish barbarian recently migrated to the US from Kazhakstan

*the only correct answer is 1


Havareth Silverstaff

1) pornstar

2) Trader of glass baubles who sells his wares from a steam powered wagon

3) A two handed sword wielding leather pant wearing barbarian

4) A wizened magic user



Well. I hope these examples helped clarify how important it is to properly name your characters. So. If you read this blog and I read your book, I’m giving you fair warning. If I see your semi-effeminate elven scholar walkin around with a name like Brutus Dragonthorn, I’ma gonna kick your ass.


Categories: Uncategorized
  1. September 7, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    Fun post…I always struggle with names…basically because I’m always thinking in terms of couples and what sounds good together. Two names are always harder than one. I’ve always loved the name Rowan. Wanted to name my daughter that but got vetoed. Ah well…looking forward to reading about her…

  2. September 7, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    Naming of chartchers is important and sometimes fun. It’s fun because you can name them anything, but it’s important because well… names are important.
    Thanks for posting.

  3. September 7, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    The hero of my WIP is named John Smith. It just sort of happened that way, but I turned it to my advantage. It turns out all Ghostkillers are named Smith. Who would’a thunk it?

  4. September 7, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    My characters typically come to me with their names and a vague sort of idea of what the story is. Occassionally, I get to add supporting cast members and name them, something I enjoy most of the time. I have a character named Harmony but when I try to read her story aloud, I keep calling her Hermione…blame it on reading Harry Potter to my sons…it’s annoying but you can’t kick my ass for it…I’m just saying.

  5. September 8, 2011 at 12:25 am

    Naming things, characters, places, what have you, is the bane of my existence. It stresses me out… DOOM.

    I’m getting better though.

    Thanks Sean!

  6. September 8, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    Characters I love naming, Titles…now that’s a whole nother blog post. Little something for your next one. 😉

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