Naming Fictional Characters

People often ask me how I name my characters. Sometimes I mash the keyboard and see what name I can make up with the letters that come up – yes really, that is now I named the characters from my first ever book. BUT sometimes I choose to name them after fictional characters I myself love.
For my 1 Night Stand stories, I chose to name the brothers after X-Men characters. For this series, I’ve chosen to use the names of my favourite princess and her father.

Princess Adora is also known as She-Ra. My favourite female character growing up.

To me, she represented everything I wanted my princess Adora to have. Power, vulnerability, sensuality, a fighting spirit and above all else, she was tough. Once I’d picked a name for her, I wanted to name my hero after someone else in the same universe that she lived. Unfortunately the names are all either plain (which I don’t like at all) or just weird. So I chose Randor from the He-Man & She-Ra universe too.

Luckily, the names are where the similarities stop. I know of some authors who name characters after loved ones, people they know or used to know, but I have never been able to do that. If I even read of a character named Richard or Dennis, I instantly think of my brothers and am instantly taken out of the story.
Which is why I like my random, sometimes made up and literally unique names. This book has Adora, Randor, Polara, Kiel, Elvira and my absolute favourite, Maleficent. The most wicked witch of all deserves to be named after Sleeping Beauty’s evil witch J

So, I have to ask, how do you react when you see the name of someone you know in a book? Do you not even bat an eye? Are you pulled from the story like I am? And do you think that having different and unique names like I do is just a bit weird?

Liia Ann White is an Australian author, hailing from Perth, WA.

She spent her childhood daydreaming about far off lands, creating her own unique characters, reading books about witches, faeries, demons, ghosts and a host of supernatural creatures. Eventually, she gained the courage to put her imagination to work.

A self-proclaimed geek, Liia collects Disney and Star Wars memorabilia and loves all things nerdy.

A vegan animal lover, she wishes to one day have her own rescue shelter for unwanted and 'unadoptable' animals. When not writing, she can be found reading or spending time with her dogs.

Liia is a member of Romance Writers of America, Romance Writers of Australia, Passionate Ink, Futuristic, Fantasy & Paranormal Chapter of RWA and Young Adult Chapter of Romance Writers of America as well as being the webmistress for YARWA.
Always interested in meeting new people, Liia can be found on facebook or twitter almost constantly.


  1. Ha! I can totally see She-Ra in Adora! I'm surprised I didn't see it before! Thanks for the guest post!!

    andralynn7 AT gmail DOT com

  2. I love the inspiration. I usually don't get affected by the names unless it is someone who is really involved in my life, like an ex. For that reason more random names are better since you don't tie them to anyone in real life

    fencingromein at hotmail dot com

  3. Interesting post and question. For random, made-up, or weird names, it bothers me if I stumble over them when I'm reading. The first time I read Lord of the Rings, I never thought I'd get through it because of all the challenging names! I need a pronunciation guide when things get really weird. AND, if a character has my hubby's name or brother's name, it can conjure up them rather than the character.
    catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

    1. I have the exact same problem. If I see a name of someone I know, it completely takes me out of the story, which sucks, hence me trying to pick random unique or made up names :)

  4. I don't really have any trouble with names when it comes to the stories I've read. If the names fit the story then I tend to like them. A fantasy or sci fi novel kind of calls for odd names :) Thanks for your post!
    oddball2003 at hotmail dot com

  5. Wonderful post, oh gosh I remember She-Ra, its been such a long time <3

    lilypondreads at gmail dot com


I love to hear from you. So feel free to comment, but keep in mind the basics of blog etiquette — no spam, no profanity, no slander, etc.

Thanks for being an active part of the Writers and Authors community.