Many writers use a character name generator when looking for good fiction character names.
These tools can certainly help you find ideas.
But if you want to find the perfect name for a character in your book or short story, you need to be selective.
If J K Rowling had chosen Wymond Forde instead of Harry Potter, would her books have been so successful?
Choosing the right character name
You have probably tried a random name generator. They can be terrific tools for finding inspiration.
However, most of the suggestions won’t be a good match for your genre.
When you are writing billionaire romance, the names of nordic gods are not going to be a good fit. Likewise, if you are writing science fiction, you don’t want regular names like John, George, or Susan.
The key to selecting a character name is that it fits your genre and can hopefully give extra depth to your character profile.
I’m sure William Shakespeare agonized for days before choosing Romeo and Juliette. Perhaps he crossed out Albert and Vivian early on but considered Caesar and Eloise.
Take your time and do your research
Choosing names for characters in fiction is one of the most important first steps when you are creating your story outline.
If you rush it and choose any random character name, you might fail to get your readers to connect with your story and characters.
When you are selecting possible names, always make a list of at least five or six possibilities. Think about how each name works in conjunction with the other names in your story.
Wade and Tyler might go together well as a detective team. But Algernon and Philip might not hit the mark.
For a fantasy prince and princess, Herman and Rosalind would be poor choices. Melo and Galea could work, though.
You can use your imagination, try anagrams, or even Scrabble letters.
But for a lot of writers, it’s easier to use a free online tool and let it go to work for you.
Here are some choices for you to try.
The best character name generators
Feel free to try any of the following free tools to help your find new names to include in your next story.
You might not need to use any other tool. The Reedsy Name Generator is probably the best of them all.
You can choose by language, Medievil, Gods, Fantasy, and Archetypes.
The tool has a database of over a million names, so you are sure to find one that’s just right for you.
2. Fantasy Name Generators
There are lists and lists of names for fantasy and paranormal and science fiction on Fantasy Name Generators.
If you are looking for a name for an alien, this could well be the site for you.
3. Name Generator
Name Generator lacks visual appeal and is covered in ads.
But it has been around for a long time and has some useful features. You can set a title, gender, nationality, and even date of birth.
There are many other options you can set to help you find the name that’s just right.
4. Name Generator Fun
There are lots of choices listed on Name Generator Fun.
But for me, I particularly like the nickname selector.
5. Writer’s Character Name Generator
While not the most aesthetically pleasing site, Writer’s Character Name has a few extra tools.
You can choose plot ideas, plot twists, and first lines.
It could be worth a look.
6. Random Name Generator
There’s nothing fancy at all on this site. But as the name says on the box, Random Name Generator does just that.
You can select to show a list of 100 full names to consider.
7. Behind the Name
Behind the Name has one great little feature.
You can choose “Generate Life Story,” and you will get a short character bio you can use in your profiling of your new character.
You will probably edit the information, but it is useful to get you started.
You have lots of choices
My list above includes some of the best and most popular name tools for function writers.
But there are hundreds of sites on the Internet that offer random name databases.
It’s not necessarily about using the best tools, but more about making the best decisions.
There are many factors to take into account.
Does the name fit?
You should consider your character’s age, the story’s time setting, and possibly Geneology or nationality.
If you are writing in the paranormal or dystopian genres, does the name suit the time, place, and perhaps even the weirdness of the story.
It is similar to choosing a pen name. You want it to grab attention, but not be over the top.
Once you come up with a story idea, which is the hard part, selecting your character names is your second most important task.
If you get it right, you will enhance your story and engage your readers more easily. But if you get it wrong, an ill-fitting name can become an annoyance.
Take your time and use all the tools at your fingertips to prepare a list of possibilities. Ask your friends what they think to get some feedback.
The more consideration you give, the better your choices will be.