How to Create a Fantasy Character Name

Names are one of the most important parts of creating a character for your fantasy world. It is one of the first things your readers will see. It should express their origin, family history, and maybe even foreshadow something in the story. The following guide will give you some tips and ideas for picking or creating the right name for your character.

Write out all your character's physical characteristics and their personality quirks. Now you'll have a list to look at when you start coming up with names to see if they fit.

Try pairing a common name with an uncommon last name. It makes the character a little more easy to relate to than if the entire name is odd.

Use an odd spelling of a fairly common name, paired either with a common last name or not. For example, you could use Alys (Alice), Hanna (Hannah), Jon, or Ginnie.

Pick a certain sound or ethnicity for your character, and then use a name generator like "Behind the Name's" generator to come up with a name. You can even mix different kinds of ethnicities, like Russian and Greek, to create interesting sounding names and come up with a distinct sound for names from a certain region or culture in your book.

Give a character a name that is generally used for a different gender but is kind of ambiguous, like Taylor, Jesse or Jamie. Pair the name with a "fantasy" last name. It will add a little originality to the name.

Use nicknames to identify your characters and their traits. They can be either last names or first names, but it can tell a lot about your character and give their name an epic or exotic feel.

Get a dictionary for a language like Japanese, Welsh, Gaelic, or whatever language fits your world, and find descriptive words or nouns that make sense as a name for your character. Then look up those words in the dictionaries and see if any of the foreign language equivalents make a good name.

Make up a name. You basically just put letters together in an appealing way that sounds like a name that will fit your characters.

  • Make sure the name fits your vision of your character. The name should be pronounceable. No one wants to read about a character that they can't even talk about with other readers because they don't know how to say his name.
About the Author

Morgon Luvall Newquist is an aspiring writer and in the midst of earning a degree in Latin at the University of Georgia and has been working as a freelance writer since 2007. Some of her work includes writing how-to guides for eHow, short stories and world-building articles for the video game Iron Grip: Warlord, and various other creative and professional projects.