17 April 2015

Other Things that Need Names

**My theme for this year's A to Z Challenge is THE NAME GAME. Everything you'd want to know about naming characters.**

Today we're going to play a little bonus level of The Name Game. This post isn't about naming characters, but about other things that may be in your stories that also need names. We've talked about people and animals, but what about all of the various objects that go by specific names? Coming up with names for these things could be as hard or even harder than deciding on a character name. Here are just some possible examples of things that you may want to name in a story. 

Places. If you create a fictional setting, you may need to name a town, country, or even a planet. Plenty of buildings and businesses will also need names: schools, stores, restaurants.

Groups and Organizations. Clubs and teams will most likely need names. If you’re creating a fantasy or even a cult story, you may need to name a religion. BAND NAMES (I still haven’t come up with a name for Jordan’s band. I’m avoiding it because I don’t need it right now and it’s the hardest thing ever.). And evil organizations, of course. 

Body Parts.  I know your mind just went straight to the gutter, but let’s not forget things like fists or muscles. Obnoxious? Yes. But do people do it sometimes? Yup!

Vehicles. Boats usually have names. So do spaceships if you’re writing Sci-Fi. Some people even name their cars (I named my car after a character in my favorite musical! Because that's normal, right??). 

Weapons. Lots of people name their guns, knives, and other weapons.

Other Inanimate Objects. Your computer, laptop, or phone might have a name (most likely so you can yell it when there are technical difficulties). Children will usually name their stuffed animals and other toys (I had over 300 stuffed animals and they all had names…and I knew every last one of them).

Really, anything could have a name if you wanted it to. You could have a character who names every dish, utensil, and piece of furniture, although that may get a bit confusing keeping track of all those names. Some of these things like places or organizations really should have a name if you want it to seem realistic, whereas something like a car or gun could just be an interesting character quirk. 

How do you come up with names for places or groups? Do you have names for any random objects?


  1. Don't forget names for pets. Or maybe that's your P-letter? I too, had a ridiculous number of stuffed animals as a kid and they all had names. I've passed this tradition down to my younger daughter. One of her most awesomely named toys is a large bunny named Mr. Fluffy Purple Pants.

  2. The Supernatural car is named Baby. ^_^

  3. Unless I'm writing about a real place, I tend to avoid names.

    I used to name all my cuddly toys too. My kids were less imaginative: Doggie, Big Doggie, Tiger, and Spot (a leopard!) are the ones I remember :-)

    Annalisa, writing A-Z vignettes, at Wake Up, Eat, Write, Sleep

  4. I always enjoy naming spaceships. I'll spend as long doing that as I do naming people.

  5. I named a gun once! Haha! It was in the last book of my supernatural-thriller series and this gun is like the big papa of all guns. I mean...HUGE! So of course I had to name it. ;)

  6. Oh, this is a fun one. I especially like clever acronyms and evil organizations. :)

  7. I write science fiction so I have to come up with names for planets and ships and space stations. I cheat and figure Earthlings would name them after places on Earth but I also make up some names.

  8. Names are hard. Because it isn't just about getting the right name, but getting an original one. I just had to name a place that character goes to in their mind.

    Still it is fun to come up with them and they add so much to your world.

  9. My first drafts are always lacking names for places. I have to consciously remember to name things when I'm doing edits.

    ~Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
    Member of C. Lee's Muffin Commando Squad
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, Indie Author

  10. Names for fantasy characters and places can be fun to play around with. At home our cars have names!

  11. last names - i use the internet for international first and last names... but american are usually not too bad. what's funny is when i sub, i have a very long list of names to choose from - and some would be questioned, you made that up!
    middle names and nicknames are fun! love using last names for nicknames (Cooper is a prime example!) places are harder for me to name... i never think i have a good enough one. oh well!
    you're doing great with naming and taming the alphabet!

  12. Coming up with town names is always fun. Nicknames for objects always make for interesting reading too. =)

  13. Yes!
    Not easy. I named a town, a family, all the businesses, a football team.
    It can get very difficult!


  14. I never thought of naming a vehicle but you are so right that some people do and that may be authentic for that character. I have a band in my novel and the name came to me after I wrote their back story and decided the kind of music they made. If you haven't done that maybe that will help the name come to you. They type of music really makes a difference, a country band and a metal band would never had similar names. Good luck.

  15. I've named a few places, but I don't have any method for doing it. They pop up when they feel like it!