Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Gannon, Jun 11, 2007.
Never be stuck again for (often ridiculous) character names.
Behind the Name: Random Name Generator
Eccentrically amusing, and kind of fun to play with. I can't see actually using it though, unless perhaps for a very minor character.
It raises the question, though, "How do you choose names for your characters?"
I would almost bet that everyone has a different approach.
For my part, I usually have a particular personality trait in mind that I want the character to have. I usually decide gender, race, national origin(s), and approximate age picked out too. Then I think of people I have known or seen in stories that have a similar profile, and see if a few first names "sound" right. If I have picked out other names already, I also look at the first names to see if they are too similar, or just sound wrong together. I might have to do some topic searches on the Internet to grab some names if I don't like my choices. When I have a first name, I try to come up with a last name that goes well with it.
Sometimes I'll look for a name that fits a stereotype I have for a character trait.
After the story has developed somewhat, I usually end up re-evaluating the name, to see if I still like it. One reason I really prefer to do every draft on the computer is that it is easy to find every occurrence of a name or nickname and make the change.
However, some of the names I come up with, I look at later and wonder how the hell I chose such a loser. So I am very interested in hearing how other people choose character names. My method is very seat-of-the-pants, and I can get quite stuck.
I've always found the phonebook a good tool.
I don't know really, I mean I usually just end up with a name popping into my head after a few hours of thikning pretty hard and 7 times out of 10 I come up with a pretty good name.
I have got a small notepad now that has a list of around 200 names in it that I have never let anyone see.
It is my little creation that I have made of unusual names. I have a very strange method for coming up with them and it is by simply rearranging words, or multiple names until I cme up with a name that I like. It is hard to explain and doesn't always work, but hey it gives me somet to do....
Separate names with a comma.