Sometimes that’s easy. Sometimes it’s not. Sorta like childbirth.
Many authors use placeholder letters for names and then fill in later with the names they’ve chosen using search and replace.
I can’t do that. Without specific names, it’s hard for me to visualize the story.
Once I have the characters and setting clearly in my head, I feel like I have bona fide people and places and can unravel the story.
That’s why I choose names before I write a single word and there is a lot to consider besides gender.
- Is the name easily pronounceable or easily sounded out?
- Do the first name and surname sound good together?
- Do the names start with the same letter or sound similar?
- Are the names appropriate for the story setting, era, and genre?
- Have I varied syllables and lengths?
I use these two:
Character Name Generator – You fill in several different defining factors and you get options that fit your character.
Name Generator for Fun – This one offers several categories to choose from. If you have a dragon to name, it’s got suggestions.
After weeks of searching for names, I finally settled on Gus, MaryDee, Willa, Claudia, Todd, and Kayley. Now on with the story.