7 Tips for Naming Your Characters

These are solid and helpful tips on naming your characters!

J. Young-Ju Harris


Naming characters is an important part of character creation. It determines how your characters will be known moving forward. Some people find this aspect of the character creation phase to be very easy or mostly intuitive. For those of you who don’t, here are some of my suggestions on how to go about coming up with names for your story’s cast.

1.) Differentiate Your Names

My cardinal rule for naming characters is making sure that none of the names look similar on the page. Having characters with names that appear similar can either cause the reader to slow down to make sure they know who is taking action, or, worse, it can cause the reader to become confused and lose the thread of what’s going on.

I actually think that J.R.R. Tolkien made this mistake when he named his villains Sauron and Saruman. If you’re reading quickly, the two names…

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2 thoughts on “7 Tips for Naming Your Characters

  1. Jan- this was a wonderful article and great advice. I don’t know if you know, but I have started trying to write my own story it is very slow going, I mean very slow, I think a snail crawls faster than my story but that’s OK I’m having fun and enjoying it. Again what a great article to read I will keep all this in mind.


    1. No, I didn’t know, Tonya, but I am thrilled that you are stepping out and writing. I look forward to reading your finished story. Glad this piece could be of help.


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