Saturday, July 7, 2012

Random Name Generators

I've mentioned a couple of times on Twitter lately that, if you know you're going to have to mass murder a bunch of characters, start with a lot of characters so you have some to choose from and some left over afterward.

But how do you name lots of characters?

Random name generators!

Some reasons to use random name generators:

  • Easier on your brain. 
  • Kinda fun. 
  • Easy to deliberately populate your book with a good mix of ethnicities and backgrounds. 
  • Hides your "naming tics," like some authors without knowing it name their characters only sweeping, romantic names, or names that only begin with the letters A-G, etc. 

Some of my favorites: 

Behind The Name : One of my favorites. Includes first. middle, and last names, plus you can restrict the search by gender, by many, many ethnicities (Maori, Catalan, Provencal, Galician, Breten, Frisian, Czech, and Slovak, to name a few), and/or by other categories. Other categories include Goth (excellent for vampyres,) Greek myth, Hinduism, Ancient Celtic, Biblical, Literary, Kreatyve, Hillbilly, Hippy, and Transformer. Includes Native American names that are real names, not like "Little Foot Redfeather" or "Dances With Wolves." Does not have a Mexican ethnicity, which is odd. Also only gives you one name at a time.

Ultimate Random Name Generator : Another favorite. Can restrict search by gender and a list of some ethnicities, including Mexican. Gives you a long list of names rather than one at a time.

Let's face it, you don't have to carefully craft the names of minor characters, especially when they're just going to all die horribly in Chapter 7.

TK Kenyon

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