One of the hardest parts about writing a book or starting a dungeons and dragons campaign isn’t always writing the story itself. Stories have a lot of little details where writers might get stuck – and it can cost you days, weeks or months worth of writing time while you’re thinking over these little details. It should never have to stand in the way of writing your story.
Character names can be one of the hardest details to get right.
Are names really that important? Would people have felt different about Legolas in Lord of the Rings if he were called Dave? (Of course, the answer to this is probably.)
Names matter a lot. But this is no reason to get stuck on choosing the names for your story.
Here’s more information about how writers can research names the easy way – and why the best fantasy name generators on the internet can help you.
Researching names for your story is important.
Many writers out there view their stories or books as their children. Keeping this in mind, would you name your children anything, or would you research the names first?
When most people want to name their children anything, they do their research first on what the names mean, how many children are named that and what other implications the name might have for their child’s lifespan.
You can view character names in the same way.
People want to relate to a character, and in some way this means that they have to be able to identify – on at least some level – with the name.
Use Name Generators
Many names in fantasy stories are regular names like Dave or John or Dale. Other times, names in fantasy stories are from dead romance languages like Latin – or they might even be completely made up names from the start.
Name generators can be a big help when you’re a writer who feels stuck on this part of your story.
Click and click (and keep on clicking) until you’ve found a name that you like.
There are thousands of name generators available out there. Some are for fantasy, some are for horror, some are for entirely imaginary off-the-wall names. All of them are designed to make finding the right name for your fantasy character easier.
Visit Name Research Websites
Once you’ve used a fantasy name generator to find a name for your character that you really like, it’s time to research the name. Just because you already used a fantasy name generator doesn’t mean that you can stop researching your name.
First, type the name into Google.
This can show you if the name has ever been used by any other writers before. There’s many reasons why you might not want to call your character the same name as another prominent one!
Next, see if the name exists in real life – check it up on some name research websites to find out more about the name.
Not all fantasy names exist in real life, and not all of them have to. But it can save you a lot of headaches as a writer later on if you do your research.
Fantasy Names: Can It Mean Something Else?
One good reason why you should do your research when it comes to fantasy names (and any other obscure names for your book) is because names can sometimes mean something else – and sometimes this other meaning might even be an insult in another language.
This is rare – and the chances of it happening are usually slim – but if it does happen to a character in your story, you’ll be glad you checked and changed it.