Name your fictional characters

An image of someone writing names on tags, one name per tag.

So many times I have a story in my mind, want to write it and then I sit staring at a blank page, not knowing what to call my character. I come up with several names, but then reject them either because I have used the name in a different story before, or it just doesn’t fit the story I want to write. What I did in the past was to type use the search term ”female names’ or ‘male names’ to find something that fit. I always ended up on sites with baby names, and in the end I mostly found something, but by then I was half an hour or an hour further, and still needed to start my story.

Start the story without a name, you say?

Nope. No can do that!

I’ve tried. Believe me, I have. But it just doesn’t work, no matter how hard I try. I need a name before I can start. I never have a full outline for a story, but only an idea, and having a name plus an idea, means the story will really come to life while I am hammering my keys.

If you are the same, then I have a solution for you. I recently came across a generator.

A name generator!

I was amazed! Why haven’t I thought about this before? I found another, and now I had a simple generator, as well as a more complex one to use!

The simple generator

The ‘simple’ generator is simply called: Random Name Generator.

This generator allows you to enter three options:

  • The number of names you want;
  • The gender of the names you want;
  • The name style (common, average or rare).

This generator claims the following:

The Random Name Generator is a simple fiction writing tool to create character names. The generator contains English first and last names based on the database of the US Census:
* 1219 male first names
* 4275 female first names
* 88799 last names
* over 480 million random names

I found that this generator works perfectly for short stories.

The complicated name generator

The complicated generator is called: Name Generator and has the subtitle: The Perfect Name for Every Occasion.

And the really mean ‘every occasion’! You can choose to generate a Quick Name, a Character Name, a Pen Name, a Baby Name, a First Name, a Middle Name, a Last Name, a Female Name, a Male Name, a Nickname and many many many more! Even what to call your blog! For the purpose of this post I clicked on ‘Character Name’ and found that it has the following options:

  • The number of examples you want to generate;
  • The gender;
  • The title of your character;
  • The flavor (human, zombie, alien, witch/wizard) of the character;
  • The type (great leader, poetic, virtuous, evil) of character it should be;
  • The birth year of the character;
  • A description of the nationality of the character;
  • A description of the nationalities of the parents of the character;
  • A description of the character’s religious background;

I generated a couple of female names where one parent was British, the other Afghan and they were both atheist. Ten names were generated, and the reasons why they were generated were also given. The first on the list was:

Dakota Hyde
Dakota: tagged as Atheist, tagged as English
Hyde: tagged as English, in use in United Kingdom

There was another link under that, which when I clicked it, showed the following character description for Dakota:

Dakota Hyde is a 18-year-old teenager whose life is dominated by solving the murder of her friend, Tye Steele. Tye was stabbed in 2009 and the killer was never brought to justice.

She is British who defines herself as straight. She is currently at school.

Physically, Dakota is in good shape. She is average-height with pale skin, black hair and brown eyes.

She grew up in a working class neighbourhood. Her father left when she was young, leaving her with her mother, who was an addict.

Dakota goes to Springfield School, where her favourite subjects are technical drawing and woodwork. She loves her teacher Mr Cooper but hates Mr Miles whose interests include putting children in detention for no reason.
She is currently single. Her most recent romance was with an artist called Deron Marvyn Giles, who was 3 years older than her. They broke up because Deron couldn’t deal with Dakota’s obsession with Tye’s death.

Dakota’s best friend is a teenager called Gregg Macdonald. They are inseparable. She also hangs around with a teenager called Holly Austin. They enjoy relaxing together.

Now isn’t that fun?!

Enjoy creating your perfect characters, and I look forward to reading your stories!

Image from Pixabay

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