I’m not going to go into all that “what’s in a name” crap. Some work better than others. When writing, people don’t mind the same white bread names that we’re read again and again, but I do enjoy exploring different characters with broader backgrounds.

Sci-Fi and Fantasy have less limitations when it come to naming characters. You can create your own world and your own language. I have done both of these many times and each time it is a different experience. Playing with syllables and how things match our own tongues seems to open up unlimited possibilities.


Of course it has to be believable and something that people can pronounce. If readers can’t wrap their heads around how to say something or even attempt it with the voice of their mind, you’ve already lost them. Finding that balance can be fun.

Some of the writers I know stick to the easy stuff so the can focus on making the story more complex without having to worry about all the extras. Then there are us wack-a-doos who have to go all over the place and need to rein it in.

Names are fun for me because they come to me quick and by the time I’m ready to write a character they’re already named. Maybe this is because I’ve had quite a few names myself. I’ve collected nick names, had a stage name (back in the performing art days), and writing names.


Names matter. Whether we want them to or not. And people seem to mold to their names or their names mold to them. All of the Joes I’ve known had similar personalities, same with Julies, Robs, Bobs, Jennifers, Jens, and so on. I don’t see this as a coincidence. It seems to have merit. So when naming my characters, cities, WORLDS even, I try to use those connections as the foundation to really add detail and reality to the tales I am weaving.

Any of you agree or disagree? Is there a fav character name you have used more than once. We’ve all known more than one Stephanie or Lamar. It’s not a crime to use the same name more than once. (I keep telling myself)

If it fits, it fits!