Attaching names to other things than faces

How would you remember a name if you don’t have a face to attach it to? Say I want to remember the name of a book character (my idea of what characters in literature look like is very vague, or non-existent), or an author?

I want to start learning these techniques by using them in everyday life:
But they all rely on me having a face to develop the mnemonic around, and I often find I don’t.

Say I want to remember that J.K Rowling is the author of Harry Potter, but I have seen neither Rowling nor Potter?

I’m sorry if this is a common question. I’ve tried searching around the forum, but haven’t found an answer.

I’ve got a friend called Jack J.K , I make him roll Rowling over Harry Potter . That would be enough for me to remember that! And if I don’t know what Harry Potter looks like I make Jack roll over a hairy human like flower pot and breaking it


This reminds me a little of how O’brien suggests you should learn facts in Quantum Memory. I haven’t gotten around to practising that, yet. Hopefully it will make names easier, too. Thanks for your reply!

You are using the story method/linking method to remember things like authors/books or a book character. You just create an image that sounds similar or one you associate with the info. I am not not sure what J.K Rowling looks like but rowling rhymes with bowling so I would picture bowling or a bowling ball. Like you said, practice will make creating images a lot easier!


I do this for scientific terminology all the time - not really a clear image for many of them!

One thing - PAY ATTENTION. Learn both how the word is spelled and how it’s pronounced if you can (e.g. Ediacaran - ee-dee-ACK-ker-an).

Then learn what it refers to. In this case, it’s a period of time from about 635-541 million years ago that predates the Cambrian period. It’s the last of the periods of the Neoproterozoic era (which assuming you know what the Proterozoic is, the Neoproterozoic isn’t too hard - it means “New Proterozoic”, so it’s the last of the divisions of the Proterozoic era). This should give a hint as of to where it fits in with the periods of time around it.

From here, it’s memorization. Whether memory palaces or songs or spaced repetition - use what works for you. I like reviewing and songs myself.

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Thank you all very much for the advice. I think I was hoping for a system as simple and effective as The Dominic System is for numbers. The visualization is very mentally taxing on me, and it can be hard to come up with suitable images. Hopefully it will get easier with practice!

I’ll keep songs in mind! I’m very fond of music, and feel like my memory for it is better than my memory for most other things. I’ll try it out once I get the basic mnemonic techniques down.

I had just about as much difficulty getting started with visualization and coming up with images as I had quitting smoking! I even quit trying almost as many times as I started smoking again!

But once I had manage to do a little everyday without exception, it really really became easier fast and faster and more efficient to do in all aspects. Succeeding in having fun doing this without putting any pressure on myself really helped also.


Creating images will get easier. Just make sure you are practicing in some aspect everyday and you will be great!


That is encouraging! I’ll keep at it. Until it exhausts me, visualizing is pretty pleasant, at least if I don’t force myself to do it quickly!