Frank Succardi
programmer * web developer * digital artist * game designer * audio/video producer

What Should I Name My Character?

If you’re a writer, you know this question well.  Populating your world with unique characters can be a challenge.  Sometimes names just sound dumb, sometimes names are too difficult to come up with.  So what should you do to come up with great character names?  What’s the best way to have a name ready in an instant for your next RPG adventure or your next novel?  In this article, I will try to help you come up with unique and believable names for male and female characters.

Cool Character Names for Girls, Cool Character Names for Guys

We want names that are interesting.  One way to come up with cool names is to start with a resource of cool names.  I researched geographical zones all around the world and gathered lists of names that sounded cool, were authentic, and popular in the various regions.  I made an effort to curate some great sounding names.  I put these names into a series of easy to use tables to make character name generation a breeze.

Character Name Generator

There are tons of automated character name generators on the internet, but there are some advantages that hardcopy name tables have over automated character name generators. 

  • No Internet Required – Paper tables work anywhere there ISN’T an internet signal. No wifi required!  You can use my Random Name Tables anywhere!  You don’t even need electricity. 
  • You Can Choose Cool Sounding Names- Instead of generating character names randomly, you can just pick out some names from the list because you can see them all at once. With automatic character name generators, you have to keep generating names over and over.  You will be skipping over a lot of repetitive and strange names. 

First Name Generator, Last Name Generator

My random names tables come with a first name generator and a last name generator.  Create a list of 10 or 20 character names then check them off as you use them in your game or novel.  This will help you maintain “flow” while you are writing.  You won't have to stop to generate a name and disrupt your train of thought. Whenever you introduce a new character, just turn to your list of pre-approved names.

Character Generator

Sometimes coming up with all the details of every character who ever lived in your fictional world can be a brain drain.  Some authors like to use automated character generators in addition to name generators.  These random character generators have the same flaws and drawbacks as random name generators.  The results often don’t make any sense and you have to generate a bunch of them just to get a few that could work.  It’s better to just use them as rough suggestions and to work them into something useable. 

How Do You Choose a Character Name?

When I choose a character name have a couple of methods:

  • For main characters, choose names that sound cool from the list.
  • For background characters, I usually roll dice and generate names randomly.
  • For superhero genre I choose names that are illiterative such as Johnathan Jones or Felicty Frost.
  • For science fiction I like to choose the last name first, like Cooper, Bishop, Hawkes, and West.

These are just my personal tips, you might think of another method that works well for you.

How Do you Come Up With A Unique Name?

The methods I listed here are just a few suggestions for generating cool character names.  Do you have a favorite method for coming up with random character names?  If youre still stuck, check out the video below!

Get your copy here: d66 Random Modern Mixed-Gender Names Vols 1-6

Watch the YouTube video here: What Should I Name My Character? Never Struggle for a Character Name Again!

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