Historical Fiction: Choosing Characters’ Names & Topics

Historical Fiction: Choosing Characters’ Names & Topics

Elizabeth Pye, author of historical fiction, speaks about choosing characters’ names and topics in an interview. This interview presents a number of ways Author Pye has used in naming historical characters. Learn about the author’s experiences in choosing the perfect name for her historical fiction books.

Fiction writers having a hard time with name choices for fictional characters, let Pye’s twist on creating unique names inspire you.

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In an interview with Author Angie Horn, Pye shares her story about how she became interested in writing historical fiction.

Listen to the interview in video clips, available on YouTube. Click on the Choosing Names and Topics video, second in the series, shown below.

Interview with Historical Fiction Author Elizabeth Pye by Angie Horn

Choosing Characters’ Names

Historical fiction author, Elizabeth Pye, inspires writers through sharing about choosing names for characters. She mentions in the interview, “My topics relate to the title of the series, The French Connection. Since I’m going along that line, it is French in this case.

Silk or Sugar Novel

In Silk or Sugar, Janine is a name I received by regression. Etienne is a name from a novel that I read about a French guy that was in a French story.

Minette just came to me. I thought I needed a name for this friend of Janine’s. I don’t know where it came from, and I had never heard it anywhere that I know of.

Adrian? I guess I just liked Adrian.”

Determining a Name for an Individual Character

Character development plays an imporetant part in determining a name for an individual character. An author can, however, choose the name for a main character before actually developing the character.

A lot of it is whether the name appeals to you, do you like it, and does it seem to fit your character. You think about your character. You picture your characters and their roles in the story, and then choose a name that seems to fit them.”

Authentic Names for Fictional Characters

Your character’s name deserves careful thought. Therefore, it makes sense to do diligent research on finding authentic names for your characters. So included here are ideas to help you with your choice of character names.

  1. Names of real people either from the current time or past time period
  2. Popular names of the current year
  3. Roman names from Ancient Rome
  4. Unusual name you’ve heard and like
  5. Baby name books
  6. Last names from a phone book
  7. Famous names from a historical period
  8. Names from the Middle Ages
  9. Baby name websites
  10. Names common during the Civil War
  11. Family names from your ancestry
  12. Common names during your lifetime
  13. Historical figures from the American Revolution

How to Write Historical Fiction

In addition to Pye’s interviews, her website also includes articles on how to write historical fiction. If you’re interested in reading more about how to write historical fiction, click on the titles in the section, Historical Fiction Articles. These articles will inspire writers of fiction whether they write on topics about love interest, fantasy worlds, or historical events. Though her novels are French-related, she offers helpful tips that benefit writers of fiction or nonfiction books.

Historical Fiction Articles

Peruse these historical fiction articles if you’re needing inspiration and ideas for writing your own historical novels.

Fun Facts on Things that Inspire Authors

Look up your favorite authors to find out what inspired their

  • Agatha Christie “liked to dream up plot ideas while soaking in her large Victorian bath, munching on apples.” Read more interesting facts about Christie at mentalfloss.com.
  • What books inspire you to write? Take a look at some of the books J.K. Rowling read that inspired her to write the Harry Potter books.
  • Real-life figures and real events, in addition to history and classic films, inspired Author George Lucas in the creation of Star Wars.

​Books by Elizabeth Pye

Order books by Elizabeth Pye from Amazon by clicking on the titles or photos below:

Silk or Sugar

Return to Chateau Fleury

Mon Amour, Friend or Foe

How do you choose names for your characters? I love to hear from my readers, so please take a few moments to share about your own experience of choosing names and topics for your books. Visit my Facebook author page for daily inspiration.


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