Monday, June 6, 2011

Places to find character names

My son graduated last Friday. There were 388 kids in his class. As I read the program, in which all of their names were listed, it occurred to me that it would be a great source for character names. There was a lot of diversity -- from Indian to Asian to American. I pitied the poor soul who had to read the names during the presentation of the diplomas. I totally would have butchered many of the names.

I went to my niece's graduation the following day. There were only 34 kids in her graduating class. She graduated from a small Christian academy. But there were some really unusual names in her program as well.

So here's my tip for the week. Lists of graduates are a great place to find character names. And, you can also use the lists of students on the distinguished honor and regular honor rolls. Many of these lists are published in your local newspaper or available on your local newspaper's website or on the school's website.

Other places to find names in the newspaper:
Wedding and engagement announcements
Divorce listings
Marriage license listings
Crime reports
Birth announcements

Can you add to this list?


  1. That's a really interesting idea! I usually just use the baby name websites, but never thought of looking at honor rolls and programs like that!

  2. I write historical fiction a lot, so I found a website with lists of popular names from the 1800's. It's been a great resource for names, and there are some fun ones to choose from -- like Ransom, Beulah, Lemuel, Geneva ... not to mention any of the older presidents (for boys): Madison, Monroe, Jefferson, etc.

    Congratulations on your son's graduation!

  3. Great suggestions. I've used elementary school lists and newspapers too.

    FYI I'm interviewing Elana Johnson today and doing a big giveaway to support the debut of her book tomorrow at Literary Rambles. I hope you'll stop by.

  4. Great info! My son's graduating class...are you sitting down...about 900 give or take. ☺