The Hero Must Have a Name!

“Haven’t you named the hero yet?”
“Not yet.”
“When are you going to get around to that?”
“When I hear a name that sounds right.”
“When will that be?”
“I don’t know.”
“How can you write a book about a character that has no name?”
“He has a name in my head.”
“Why don’t you write it down?”
“Because I don’t like it.”
“Have you looked for a different one?”
“Sure. The problem is my head only knows so many names.”
“Read a book.”
“I did that.”
“The hero had no name.”

Eventually, the hero must have a name. Sometimes you have to look outside of what you know to discover the name. Here are a couple of places you can look to find inspiration!

1) A baby name book.
Your mom might have one of these. If not, try asking someone to get you one to look through. Many baby name books have a list of names from different countries to excite your imagination.

2) Sports roster.
Ask a parent or sibling to show you a football or basketball roster. It gives you all the names of the players on the team. There is an enormous diversity of names on these lists!

3) The keyboard.
Stare at the letters on a keyboard until a few stand out. Type them on the screen, then adapt them until it sounds like a real name. You may do this a couple of times before you get something good.
I can hear you laughing, but I’ve seriously named several characters that way. My readers liked the names, and so did I. That’s all that matters.

“Guess what? I finally named my character!”
“Really? What is it?”
“Where did you find that name?”
“I heard it in book Mom was reading today.”

Names are everywhere. Go, find the one that fits your character!

Alyson Jensen


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