Having trouble coming up for a name for your character? Look no further! This random character name generator is just the tool you need.
A good writer knows that word choice can make or break a story, and character names are no exception. The names you choose resonate with readers on both a conscious and subconscious level. They have the power to convey meaning overtly or through hidden messages.
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For instance, in The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Jekyll’s experiment unleashes his animalistic alter-ego, Hyde. Jekyll has the word “Kill” hidden inside it, and Jekyll is after Hyde’s “hide.” See? The entire story is given away in their names alone. Stevenson’s layers of meaning are a fine example of the density that can and should be packed into names.
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To Kill A Mockingbird‘s Boo Radley is portrayed in a mysterious light, almost as if he is a ghost. And just by hearing the name Mr. Dark from Something Wicked This Way Comes, a reader surely knows who the antagonist will be. These straightforward examples are no less creative; in fact, it may help a reader tie together intricacies of meaning woven in the plot of the story and make predictions through the suspense of foreshadowing.
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Peeta Mellark from The Hunger Games Trilogy is a baker’s son, as his bread-like first name suggests. With all of the bird imagery in the trilogy, Peeta’s surname suggests his important yet supporting role since his surname contains the name of a small yet passionate bird. Larks are songbirds, which alludes to his sensitive nature.
When coming up with your own character names, the key is variety. This includes ethnic diversity, varied length, originality, and creative juxtaposition. A creative, catchy name can make your novel stand out from the crowd and be remembered. Even if you prefer ordinary sounding names, it is important to pick one that fits the spirit and role of your character in the novel. For instance, Harry Potter is a fairly ordinary sounding name, but it contains a subtle contrast; Harry means home ruler, while Potter is a laborer’s name. This contrasts Harry’s humble upbringing with his noble destiny as “The Chosen One.”
Your names can include reframing of historical names, or completely new combinations of letters! Bilbo Baggins is the perfect humble sounding name for a hobbit in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, and despite its originality, it sounds quite natural and familiar due to its alliteration and simplicity. Gollum, on the other hand, is taken from the Jewish word “Golem,” which refers to an inanimate form made human and given life. However, Tolkien explains that the name refers to the sound the character makes in his throat. It’s up to you whether you choose to explain names or leave them a mystery for your reader!
Use the generator above however you wish. These can be a starting point or a destination. You can use them to develop a full character backstory or use them if they feel right for a character you have developed but just can’t seem to find the right title for. Leave any names that particularly inspired you in the comments below, along with how you plan to use them.