Ten Things to Help You With Naming Characters
Freeware caution: always scan free downloads of anything for bugs and other threats before dumping the programs into your hard drive.
1. YeahBaby.com's Baby Name Generator allows you to customize gender, number range of letters, and provides origin and meaning with the very long lists it generates.
2. Author Barbara Delinsky has some suggestions at her blog on How to Pick Character Names.
3. Mervyn Love suggests using a map to inspire your character names in his article here.
4. Jason M. Tucker's article Naming Your Characters points out the virtues of J.K. Rowling's colorful way with character naming.
5. Caro Clarke's many writing advice articles includes this one, Problems with names and how to avoid them.
6. Get up to 50 suggestions for male or female character names with Seventh Sanctum's Quick Name Generator (or check out the many other name generators on the SS's link index page.)
7. With BehindtheName.com's Random Name Generator, you can customize it by number of given names, gender and even nationality.
8. My favorite online naming toy, Kleimo.com's Randon Name Generator, uses names from U.S. Census data, and gives you a 1 to 100 scale to customize how common or obscure the names generated are (1=most common, 100=completely obscure.)
9. Random Names 2.0 freeware offers 2900 male and 4900 female names for you to shuffle through (OS: Win9x/ME/2k/XP)
10. Need a mysterious name that actually means secret or mysterious? 20000names.com has put together an entire page of them.
If you have any links to great online resources for names and want to share, please post them in comments.