Updated: May 27, 2019
Choosing character names is one of my favorite parts of writing! I think it's so cool how each name has a different meaning and connotation. When we create characters, we piece together different parts of personalities and experiences we've had. My dad David B. Ward, who wrote Practicing the Preaching Life, once said that when weaving a story, we're not coming up with something entirely new. We're actually weaving together different scraps of material that's already been used for something to create a colorful quilt. I really liked this delineation and I think it applies to characters as well. We authors are combining this amazing mix of traits to create a fictional character. These attributes help define them. Where would Hermione be without her wit and determination? Katniss without her courage and loyalty? I personally love deciding on a name that reflects the character's nature. (A writing book for young authors, Spilling Ink, goes deeper into constructing protagonists if you're interested.)
Here is a list of ten names I love. I've included the meaning of the name and what genre I think it best fits. On a few of them, I've listed a few traits I thought of when I heard it. Hopefully, this post will help you find the perfect name to match your character's disposition or give you a much-needed boost of creativity!
Meaning: 'olive tree'
My thoughts: I love this name! It could also be a nickname for Olivia, which is more common. I think names can sometimes be too unusual, especially in dystopian or sci-fi novels, so using a nickname for a familiar name is a way to get the best of both worlds. I've always imagined a Livvy as brunette with dark blue eyes. The name strikes me as someone who is very open and sweet but will stick up for herself.
Genre: fantasy/realistic fiction
My thoughts: I love coming up with girl's names, but boy names are always harder for me. I was so excited when I found this one! I think an Altin would be energetic and artistic. You could count on him to always be on time. I think an Altin would be someone who loves music. It's so fun to have a music-obsessed character in your novel! It can reveal much about their personality and give them something to talk about with your other characters. Consider this an ample excuse for lying down and just listening to your favorite songs. If anyone calls you lazy, say it's research. Who can argue with an author doing their job? :)
Genre: realistic fiction/historical fiction
Meaning: 'of the nobility'
My thoughts: I picked this name because it strikes me as a clean slate. Because it's such a classic name, I feel like her personality would be able to really shine through without readers being distracted by a long-winded title. An Alice would be curious, spirited, and an animal lover. Especially teacup pigs. Because everyone knows they are the cutest things ever.
Genre: historical fiction
Meaning: 'foreign riches' (or 'song' if you use Melody as a full name)
My thoughts: I really like the name Elodie! If you pick Melody as a full name, you could also use the nicknames Lodie and Mellie. I think an Elodie would be open and cheerful. She strikes me as someone who is honest, but kind, and looking for an adventure. Just like this picture, an Elodie would love completely and laugh all the time.
Genre: fantasy/dystopian/historical fiction
My thoughts: The name Emric feels both classic and fresh at the same time. It's not one you see very often, but easy to pronounce. I love The Selection series, but my friends and I have had such a hard time trying to pronounce the names!
Like the meaning of his name, I think an Emric would be strong, independent, and comfortable being in a leadership position. An Emric would be deeply loyal and hardworking, but also playful at times.
Meaning: 'God's gracious gift'
My thoughts: The name, Sian, pronounced like the color cyan, is so cool! It's a unique name but also easy to say and not something weird like Kale. (No joke, it's a legitimate name!) I think a girl named Sian would be a bit more reserved and not as open to share her emotions and private thoughts. I think she would love adventure but be practical and a planner. She wouldn't let people into her life easily but is very loyal to the people she loves.
Genre: YA/realistic fiction
Meaning: 'gold leaves'
My thoughts: Saffy is a sweet nickname for the longer and more unique Saffron. A Saffy is spunky with a capital S! She'd be bold and excitable with a love for nature, especially flowers. A Saffy would be smart and focused. She'd love math and be very independent.
Genre: realistic fiction
Meaning: 'grassy meadow'
My thoughts: Bentley is one of my favorite baby boy names! It just sounds so sweet. A Bentley would be a stand-up guy. He'd be adorable with a great sense of humor. I think he would be creative and fun to be around albeit a little (read: a lot) stubborn.
My thoughts: The nickname Georgie could be short for Georgia, Georgina, or Georgiana. If you used one of these full names, you could also pick the nickname Gia or Gi-Gi. I think a Georgie would have bouncy brown curls and lots of spunk! She just has to be sassy! A Georgie knows what she wants and is determined to get it. She's headstrong, likes being in the limelight, and is a total sweetheart.
Genre: sci-fi/YA realistic fiction
My thoughts: I love the nickname Remi for Remalyn! The full version just rolls off your tongue, which is pretty, but the nickname freshens it up. I think a Remi would be intelligent and someone who has strong political views. She'd be hardworking and polite, but not afraid to put others in their place when they're acting rude.
I hope you enjoyed this post! I had a lot of fun discovering new baby names and creating personalities to go behind them. Let me know in the comments if you'd like to see more posts like this. Tell me what your favorite from this list was and another name you love! Don't forget to follow our new Facebook page for extra photos, funny memes, and lots of fun! Have a great Memorial Day.