Thursday, January 2, 2014

Tools for choosing random character names.

image Just like picking a name for your newborn baby, naming your characters is sometimes a labour of love… but sometimes, it just isn’t.  Sometimes you just need a couple of throwaway names, and random name generators are a great way to get them.

Here’s a collection of tools I’ve been using heavily lately in my side job as a blog commenter (don’t ask, but basically, I have to make up 50 new characters a day and leave a short comment for each “character” on a particular blog or group of blogs – yup, I’m paid to spam).

I’m not receiving any kickbacks here, just sharing because I love random stuff of all kinds, and this is useful stuff we writers can sometimes use.

  • Fake Name Generator – MY FAVOURITE AND THE MOST FULLY-FEATURED.  This randomizer lets you specify parameters like gender, age, country and ethnicity, and provides a full character outline with many juicy details (Leon Nixon, 17 North Promenade, DOUNREAY KW14 0PZ, UK, Mother’s maiden name:  Warren, Visa 4916 6263 6369 5534, blood type B+, weight 222.0 pounds (100.9 kilograms), occupation, Credit Manager, Solution Bridge).
  • List of Random Names – gives you exactly what it says.  You specify how many, gender, alliteration (“Lisa Lorington”) and it goes to work producing a list.  Be prepared to find quite a few wacky, offbeat and non-traditional names (“Gaylord Whipple”).
  • Random Name Generator – quickly outputs a list of random names.  More traditional names than the previous link (less likely to raise an eyebrow, like “Diana Griffin”).  Lets you request either very common (“Nancy James”), average (“Cynthia Barton”) or rare names (“Nadia Xiong”, “Bobette Grice”).
  • SpinXO – not traditional names as such, but useful for generating a “handle”, online, or avatar name (“BuzzAli”, “CrashLive”, “BlikiCrazy”)

There are simply hours of random fun in each of these sites. 

Enjoy your new baby – I mean character!


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