The Name Game

I spend a lot of time on character names. A lot of time. Possibly too much time. I have baby name books, I Google, I sit with my eyes closed and run through all the names I know. I play Sims and hope that when I make a new random person, their name is something I can use. When I start a new book/story, I can normally come up with names of secondary characters quickly, but my main character takes forever. It’s like naming a baby. I want the name to be memorable, but not weird and unrealistic. It’s got to fit the personality and looks of the character running around in my head. It’s got to be the only name that could possibly be given to the character.Ultimately, I come across one that just fits. It fits so perfectly that I kick myself for not coming up with it earlier. But it takes a lot of frustration and searching to find that perfect name.

It's not pretty when I'm trying to pick a name.
It’s not pretty when I’m trying to pick a name.

That’s where I’m at right now. I’m starting a new book, and I’m a few pages in. I normally don’t name my main characters until I’ve got at least several pages. Possibly more. That way they’ve taken shape. So, I’m several pages in, with question marks as name placeholders. Now it’s time to find a name. It will probably take me a few more days. Actually, I’ll be lucky to have one by the end of the week. But, I did find something today that’s useful in my search for the perfect character names. It’s this random generator. I’ve been playing with it for about a half an hour, and will probably go back to playing with it after I’m done with this post. It’s pretty cool. Not only does it do names, but plot points, love interests, personalities, etc. Look at the page footer for the full list. It’s pretty amazing if you’re stuck with something. I’m not saying generate your whole story from the site, but it is helping spark ideas in my overworked head meat.  Try it out! And while you’re at it, this site also isn’t bad. It generates random character quirks, like bad singing, social anxiety, etc. It’s cheesy looking, but helpful if you’re trying to round out a character.

 

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