Help me name a character

Three question marks printed on a typewriter

Right. So, this post makes me feel a little awkward.

Oh, gawd, I can feel the blush coming on now.

*deep breath*

So, um…you see. I’m kind of writing a…*cough*

Well, I’m trying to write a…*squirm*

I mean, one day I hope to write a… *cringe*

(I feel like such a wanker.)

Try again.

Hello everyone. My name is Lisa and I am writing a novel. Well, words that I dream will one day be published into a book.

Maybe that’s a better way of describing it.

Words. I am writing lots and lots of words, and one day those words may transform themselves into a book.

Or not.

Oh gawd that was hard.

I don’t know why talking about my book…I mean…words, is always so hard. I have always dreamt of writing a novel. But for some reason I think that someone like me has no right to write a novel.

Stoopid…innit? But that’s the way my mind works. And the minds of so many other writers I know.

But today I am putting it out there because I need your help. You see I can’t come up with a name for the heroine of my novel. And I want your suggestions.

I guess I should tell you something about this story. So far it’s about the corporate wankery (technical term) a woman faces when she returns to work after giving birth and becoming a mother. Sound familiar? If you’ve read my blog before you would know that I’m rather obsessed (and at times infuriated) with the incompatibility of the parenting and business worlds.

So back to my character: she’s a complex mix of fierce ambition and maternal instincts; bravado mixed with anxiety; toughness tinged with softness.

Sarah? Sharon? Harlow? Waverley? Elizabeth? Tanita? Tabitha? Louise? Gah!

To help you put a name to this character, below is what I think will be the opening few paragraphs. *winces* *cringes* *hits publish anyway*

<Insert name here> knew the tingling sensation in her stomach couldn’t possibly be the first movements of her baby. But god how she wished it was. After trying for what felt like an eternity, she was at last six weeks pregnant and desperate for her bump to grow. And when she did finally get past that 12-week safety threshold, she was going to stick one hand behind her back and milk that pregnancy waddle so John Wayne would be proud. It was the happiest she had ever felt in her entire life and she wanted the world to know.

But for now she couldn’t tell anyone. As she sat down on the hard brown plastic chair, <insert name here> had to convince her early pregnancy euphoria to stay put. She also had to convince the same of her morning sickness, swilling around her gut as she breathed in the staff cafeteria air, thick with greasy eggs and baked beans.

But <insert name here> wasn’t the only person in the staff cafeteria that morning with a secret. Kevin from HR plonked his full English breakfast down in front of her and rolled into his seat.

“You not eating?” he asked vigorously shaking a bottle of tomato sauce.

“Already have,” she lied. “Totally forgot we had a breakfast meeting.”

“Pity. These sausages are looking mighty fine,” he said unleashing a dollop of sauce over them.

<Insert name here> suppressed an urge gurgling deep inside her as she watched Kevin hack into his runny eggs

“Look, I need to give you a heads up about something,” he said chewing and glancing around the cafeteria.

“Today you will receive a meeting request for something called ‘cobra’ and you need to make yourself available.”

<Insert name here>’s mind moved away from her gurgling stomach back to her head.

“I’m about to tell you something that will be the biggest thing this company has ever done. And once it gets out, trust me, the media will be all over us,” he hissed

Hit me with your names people!


  1. says

    I guess there are two camps – people who think names are important in fiction, and those who don’t…

    I’m in the second camp – I don’t think names are that crucial, so I usually go to a random name generator and keep refreshing until I see one that kind of fits the character, and that’s the name…

    I just don’t think names are worth fussing about…

    • says

      I agree with John, I think names are not really that important, as long as it isn’t something ridiculous. Like when I started watching True blood, because everyone was like.. “Ohh Eric!” and I watched it and the main characters name was Sookie Stackhouse. I wanted to burn things, but I got used to it… and Oh MY!! ERIC!! 😉 xx

  2. says

    Kelly of course!


    True story: I am obsessed with J names and all the characters in my stories when I was younger had J names.

    So what I am saying is, I am the wrong person to try and help you choose a character name

    But how about Gina. Ginas are feisty go-getters. Well the ones I know anyway 🙂

  3. says

    Ooooh, goody! Well done, hon! Exciting.

    How old is your character? I usually think of names that were fairly common around the time a character was born. For example, I’m 43 and there were lots of Jodie’s (!), Kim’s, Catherine’s etc. You know what I mean? But then, you could always choose an unusual name. I prefer names that aren’t too complicated to remember. Or if the main character has an unusual name, I don’t like other names in the book to be unusual. Does my head in. 🙂

    Fussy, aren’t I?

    Good luck!

  4. says

    Given I feel very creative today (not) I googled strong female names. Results? One syllable girl names and two syllable girl names.Anne, Blythe, Brynn, Gail…. or Lauren, Mary, Megan, Rachel, Rhea.. hmmn sorry Lisa, can’t help you with this one. x

  5. says

    You know what I do, I jot down names I like watching movie credits saving them up for a character later.

    You cant have my character’s latest name, (there have been several changes) but I always liked names that can sound like guys names:
    Alexandra to Al or Alex, Samantha to Sam or Sammy, Maxine to Max

    Whatever you choose, keep in mind that other characters may want to shorten it in dialogue, you might need a nick-name for friends..

    Good luck with it – you’ll probably change it several times before it feels right.

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