What I learnt this week: Fun with a random name generator

faceless lego

I have a few characters sculling around in my WIP who are currently without names, and as name is such an important part of building character, I thought it was time to try and create names for them. I did not even suspect the existence of such a thing as a random name generator, but one of my writing friends just happened to mention it – what a great idea! I’m going to use it all the time from now on …

So, first challenge – a character in his fifties, regional manager of a large heritage organisation, white British. For a while there I was considering Eusebio St. John or Xavier Riddle … But I settled on Stephan McClellan. Happy.

And what about the ageing lord of the manor, very definitely English? What could it throw up for him? Well, Eldon South had quite a good ring to it, or Wilford Layne – not so sure about Antonia Richard though, last time I looked Antonia was traditionally a woman’s name … So it was back to the drawing board with that one. It eventually came up with Roland Talbot, which I quite like.

Then we have a female also in her fifties, also working for the large heritage organisation. She already had a first name, Caroline, but I’d struggled to find a surname that sounded right (and didn’t already belong to somebody I knew). First round of suggestions – Garrett. I like that, named!

Now it’s onto a name for a 19th century pre-Raphaelite artist. This proved far more difficult! Newton Bradbury sounds too much like a service station on the M1, Brendon Gabriel should probably be a male stripper and Chet Kyle would be more at home in a cowboy novel. Maybe I’ll not be using the random name generator for EVERY character, then …

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