As I’ve talked about before, I have a lot of stories going on in my brain. Few actually end up being finished, or even beginning the writing process. But when I being writing and designing characters, I put an enormous amount of thought into the people’s names.
Often, if a character is in someway based on a real life person, I will take the meaning of that person’s name and find a name that has a similar meaning, or an aspect of that persons character. For example, Evan (not a nice guy), shares his name meaning with a real person. Evan means “God is gracious”. There is also Will, who also shares his name meaning, which is “determined protector”.
There are also characters where the name reflects their personality:
Robyn – a sunny, joyous, energetic character- “bright”
Mia – a chilled, cool, talented character – “star of the sea”
Mairin – a selkie – also “star of the sea”
Nilsine – a powerful leader, just generally a powerful person – “champion”
Ita – a tough young water elemental – “thirst”
Alva – despite shit happening to her, she is gentle and kind – “white”
Aonair – he adores his family, but one goes missing and the others die – gaelic for “alone/lonely”
Iarann – she seems strong but a little fragile – gaelic for “iron”
Lilith – views herself as cursed, dangerous, horrific – the name of a demon
Akemi – in her story she symbolises hope and curiosity – Japanese name, combination of “ake” (bright) and “mi” (beautiful)
You get the idea. This only works if I actually like the name that comes up of course. Names like Aonair, Iarann, Scáth, Léira etc. are all ones where I’ve put a word into google translate and I’ve either extracted a name from the resulting word, or just used that word.
Sound is also something I take into consideration:
Nolwenn – a very lonely girl, she is very depressed and has a very negative view of herself, her name literally sounds like “no-one” or “nil”.
Innse – a sort of villain from Iron Feather, though still complex. His name actually means “tell”, but the sound of the word is sort of creepy, and he is definitely an odd guy.
Most of my naming is done through searching up name meanings, and then picking a name that jumps out from the list I get. When it comes to names, my favourite website has to be:
It’s absolutely brilliant. You can search by name meaning, the actual name, what names start or end with and it’s just such a fantastic resource for naming characters. Another good one is (there is a male equivalent):
Don’t use that one so much, as it is just straight up lists, so it can take ages, but there’s a bit more of a mix in there I think.
But yeah, that’s a wee look into my writing/story creation process!