I have an unusual relationship with character names, probably because I have such a poor memory (as Electra likes to point out). Quite frankly, I don’t particularly like the process of coming up with names. As the saying goes, you don’t know how many people you dislike until it’s time to name your child. Or character. Plus, once I finish the book I forget the characters’ names within a few days at most (which makes reading Game of Thrones exhausting).
My way out is to name people after their role in the book. For example, in Runaway Smile we meet the boy and his mother. Neither has a name beyond that. Similarly, many characters in A Heaven for Toasters are called “The Professor,” “The Captain,” etc. Easy to remember, if not so easy to write, as I always struggle with capitalization.
When I do need to come up with a name, though, I have toyed with several online name generators, as I explained back in 2014.
Now, the Passive Guy has shared news of the Name Generator. This is a free online tool that features about 100 name generators, including a Character Name Generator, a Fantasy Name Generator, and even a Story Generator!
The Name Generator
- Are you about to create the best character ever? Have you already created one? The Character Name Generator allows you to create a name with up to five components, so a name can be short and sweet or double-barrelled and swanky. With over 220,000 names in their database, you can also specify language, nationality, and other factors to give your character the perfect name.
- Whether you’re trying to write a character list for an epic voyage, creating a group of witches for a children’s book, or just trying to name your pet unicorn, the Fantasy Name Generator finds the perfect epic name for you.
- Want to write a customized short story really quickly? Choose a style, opening, and type of ending, name your character, choose a few adjectives, and the Story Generator writes a tailor-made story for you!
If these are not enough, check out Kate Monk’s Onomastikon, a collection of names from around the world that was initially intended to help provide character names for live role-players. It includes short historical backgrounds, male and female first names or personal names, and surnames or family names, organized by country and period.
Medieval Names Archive
If it’s Medieval names you’re interested in, what better place to find one than the Medieval Names Archive? This collection of medieval and Renaissance names is intended to help historical re-creators to choose authentic names.