10 Tips for Finding Memorable Character Names for your Fiction…

By Anne R. Allen

“Agnes Gooch,” “Mr. McCawber,” “Albus Dumbledore”: memorable names of memorable characters.

How can writers come up with character names that readers will never forget?

In his painfully funny 2006 book, Famous Writing School, a Novel, Stephen Carter’s writing teacher-protagonist advises his students to seek character names in the obituaries. But although Carter’s bumbling protagonist offers mostly dubious advice, that tip is a keeper.

Obits are full of great names. I keep a list of odd names in a little notebook. I haven’t yet written about Normal Peasley or Lamia Trowbridge, but they’re ready when I need them.

Another great name source is spam.

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3 comments

  1. I’ve used the obits for ages and continue to collect names. My 10-y-o granddaughter picked two fantastic character names for her story. I ate my heart out, it was that good. I told her to read the newspaper, close her eyes and point to a word. Sorry, I cannot share. The names are hers.

    Liked by 1 person

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