I was reading book reviews today and found this comment.
When teaching a lot of the time I have students who absolutely stress over their characters’ names. As in. They cannot possibly go forward in planning or actual writing because they can’t think of a name for their characters.
As a result of this I am pretty good at naming character related advice.
TIPS FOR COMING UP WITH CHARACTER NAMES
When trying to find a name generally you know what letter you’re looking for. That sounds weird I know but a name starting with ‘E’ (Earl, Eustace, Evan) will give a different vibe to a name starting with ‘J’ (James, Jake, Jesse) Figure out that ‘Letter Vibe,’ and go from there.
If the letter thing doesn’t work, try baby name websites. I use http://www.babynames.com it has this super handy option which allows you to search a ‘meaning’ or even a ‘origin’ of a name. You need an Irish character who is strong? Liam. Bingo.
Ensure that you name characters according to the TYPE of fiction.
TIPS TO AVOID CHARACTER NAME CRIMES
As mentioned above, don’t give your characters cringe worthy names such as ‘Angel.’ I am super sorry if 1) your name is Angel or 2) you know a person named Angel who is perfectly lovely but just don’t.
Your character needs a name which conveys the personality they have. Not a stripper name. Again sorry about the afore mentioned points 1 and 2.
Avoid using the same letter for every single one of your characters’ names. I have made this mistake before. It is confusing.
Avoid weird spelling of what would be simple names. Otherwise when you get published people will CONSTANTLY PRONOUNCE IT WRONG! Take this from experience. Write it how it is said.
Avoid long winded, weird fantastical names with ‘AE’ substituted for what would usually be like a ‘i’ ‘e’ or ‘a’. It’s weird and people will forget your character’s names. (See Super Official Graph Below)
And IF you have to give them weirdo names, make sure that your minor cast have more traditional names, (I am talking, non important characters here… not major ones) That way it makes it easier to see the wood from the trees.