Today I'll be sharing my personal methods for choosing character or place names! So let's get to it, shall we?
1) Google Translate
Primarily, I use this method for city and country names when I need one quickly. I'll pull up Google Translate, then choose one or two words that describe my place. I type that into the English section, then translate it to a language that belongs to a similar environment as my country.
For example, in my latest project Splintered Crown, I typed in "mountain city" and translated it into German, as the country's geography resembles Germany's. As a result, I got Bergstadt! Usually I switch a few letters around but I loved this one, so I kept it. This method is a quick and easy way to achieve cohesive place names if you stick to one language!
2) Search Name Lists
I mainly use this method for character names when I want names in a certain language or from a certain region. A quick Google search of, for example, "Turkish names" will have tons of baby name sites coming up. At this point I'm surprised Google isn't giving me baby food ads with the amount I visit.
Anyway, here are a few sites I highly recommend: Behind the Name, 20,000 Names, and Belly Ballot. Check them out for a little inspiration!
3) Choose a Trait
If you're in a deep and symbolic mood, and want a name that really identifies your character or place by their values, this is the method for you. Simply search "names meaning ____" to find one that represents your character's soul or country's history. The name could even contain foreshadowing...
4) Alter a Common Name
It's difficult to find new names that haven't been plastered onto other book characters before. So how about taking one of those common names and putting your own spin on it? In one of my stories I changed Johnathan to Jonathon by taking out one letter and switching another, and in another changed Bird to Byrd. Some languages already do this for you if you look up variants of a name (the Bulgarian form of Samuel is Samuil).
|I made a list of all my characters from Golden Revenge for this post, and this just scratches the surface...I just realised I have a whole ton of characters.|
If none of the above methods work, if none of the names seem to fit, or if you're lacking inspiration to create deep names, pick your favourite letter. Then pick a few vowels and consonants, throw them together, and tada! You have a name. Remember, there's always editing if you want to change it later!
That wraps up today's post; I hoped you enjoyed it! How do you come up with character and place names? Are our methods similar or different? Any name sites you would recommend?
Let me know in the comments below, and have a marvelous day! <3