What Should I Name My Character?


Before I write the first word of my novel, I have to know the names, both first and last, of each character. At least of the immediate characters who will play the most prominent roles. It is almost as if my character is not fully developed and “born” without a name.

Ask yourself, are you the type of writer to name your characters first or settle on their identity after the writing has trickled to an end?

Also ask yourself the reasoning, whether big or small, you have upon naming each character. Is the name selected randomly? Or is the name meant to symbolize or represent a specific quality?

As a writer, the characters we create feel very real to us, almost as if they, at any moment, could be sitting right beside us. With each character we develop are a list of reasons for why. When it comes to naming each character, the reasons differ.

The arithmetic I use for naming a character is simple. I do not pick names that hold a meaning resembling a character flaw or triumph. Instead, I pick names that just seem to fit. With the character I imagine on paper there is always a name that seems to connect and makes the most sense to me.

But if you are having trouble rounding up a set of possible names for your next protagonist and/or antagonist, below are a list of suggestions, from A to Z, along with websites that can come in handy. Be sure to bookmark them on your computer!

You will even get an inside scoop of the names I am using for the characters in my current book.

Just The Boy Next Door

  • Axel
  • Bennett
  • Cayden
  • Dylan
  • Emmett
  • Franklin
  • Gavin
  • Harrison
  • Ian
  • Jackson
  • Kenneth
  • Lester
  • Myles
  • Nixon
  • Oliver
  • Parker
  • Quincey
  • Russell
  • Spencer
  • Travis
  • Ugo
  • Vincent
  • Walden
  • Xavier
  • York
  • Zachary

Just The Girl Next Door

  • Addison
  • Bailey
  • Carly
  • Danielle
  • Emmaline
  • Florence
  • Grace
  • Harper
  • Isabelle
  • Julianna
  • Kelly
  • Leslie
  • Marilyn
  • Natalie
  • Olivia
  • Paxton
  • Quinn
  • Rachael
  • Sheila
  • Teagan
  • Ursula
  • Valentina
  • Whitney
  • Xena
  • Yasmin
  • Zara

Just The World Wide Web

  • Nymbler / an interactive baby naming site where you can favorite and save names.
  • Babble / a baby naming site that sorts names based on popularity, origin, and theme.
  • Parents / similar to Babble with an opportunity to find a name with a desired number of syllables.


Here is a list of the names I am using in the book I am currently writing, featuring only the main characters:

Zoe Whiteside

Eleanor Whiteside

Brandon Howard

Lucas Palmer

Nathan Baxter

Brock Richardson

Aubrey Washington

Ophelia Foster

Hannah Roberts

Nolan Hayes


What will you name your next character?

Which name was your favorite?

What baby naming website will you use in the future?

Reply in the comment section below!

Thanks for reading!


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