Sometimes you just can’t find the right name and even with all the lists of names it still isn’t there. Or maybe you have a minor character that needs a name and you aren’t too concerned with what that name is so long as you don’t have Jon, John, Johnny and Jonathan all in your story.
There are a lot of choices out there, but one way to go is with Random Name Generators. Each ones has its own approach to how they handle finding names for you to use, but as a whole, they will give you at least one name, some times a full name or a company name and maybe even a lot more. It might just be the perfect way to find a name for that pesky character who has been avoiding your questions about what their name is. And even if it’s not, it still can be a pretty fun activity to see what you come up with. After all, you don’t want to keep their name as John Doe, do you?
Not only is it a new year, but it’s a new decade. One hundred years ago the Great War was barely ended and here in the US Prohibition was in full swing. Underground stills were on the rise as was alcohol related crimes, but alcohol consumption itself was going down. The Great Depression was less than a decade away and short flapper skirts were all the rage. It had only been five years since the first coast to coast phone call and the first transcontinental phone call was still seven years away. Personal computers weren’t even a dream in most if not everyone’s minds.
Writing prompts are something that I find interesting. They are short and have the potential to bring all sorts of ideas either for full stories or for pieces of stories. A while back I decided to start collecting them and I have a lot of them. Some I have even used for my own stories. Many more I want to use and have not yet found a place to use them.
A massive random generator, one of the many things that you can randomly generate on Donjon is a world. There are a lot of things you can put into the generator, but ultimately you create something that looks a little like this.
Run by Disney, Babble has a name section that is worth taking a look at. Like every such list, it has it’s strong points. Of course, being a Disney site, they have a Disney themed name list if you want to use names of Disney characters for inspiration, so that’s definitely worth taking a look at for fans of Disney who want to use names related to the large collection of Disney movies and TV shows. While not even close to a complete list, the list of Disney names is a useful resource for those who have an interest.
This next map creator I do not know a lot about, but it looks like it has a lot of potential. Unlike the previous two map creators, Inkarnate, works through a subscription model.
The free model is for personal use only and has 100+ assets to use for making your map on a space that is 1024 x 768. It is unclear what the measurement is, but perhaps it is measured in pixels making that a decently sized map to work with. Regardless, it is a nice way to test out the software and find out if it will work for you or if you need to keep looking for something else that will work better for your needs.
It may not be the most exhaustive source of baby names, but Baby Center, a site dedicated to all parts of having babies from conception to naming, does have a few lists you might want to check out. With lists such as “Most popular baby names through history” and “Baby names inspired by Shakespeare” you have a lot to choose between and a lot of names that you might find of use. I think my favorite list is “Baby names inspired by military heroes” which lists the names of military heroes, both male and female over the years of our country, names like Jane for Jane Thomas from the time of the Revolutionary War who prevented an ambush by passing on important intelligence, saving the lives of many, and Omar for army general, Omar Nelson Bradley from the time of World War II.
The site has nearly 270,000 names, which is nothing to sneeze at. Baby Center has all of the US popular name data available going back to 1880 when they first started collecting and making that info available. Having this data available can be a very useful tool for authors who wish to pick names that were common at the time of the story they are writing.
This one was a pretty interesting one. The Azgaar Fantasy Map Generator randomly creates a map and you have a lot of choices of what kind of map it displays. For fun I turned them all on in the map above. The same map only has labels and states turned on in the map below which is stark contrast, but give you a pretty good idea of the vast differences that can be made by just turning on or off different types of maps.
There is a lot to look at when it comes to Nameberry. You can pick the type of data you want from a lot of choices. From the most popular names of last year to some rather unique names that are a lot less common, there is something for every parent looking for ideas on naming their children. The question becomes, what is the value to the authors in their audience? Let’s take a look at some things here.
As with most baby name sites, it has a popular names section. This one is different in a couple of ways. The first way is that it only has a list of the most popular names from last year which makes it less valuable for authors writing period pieces or just trying to name characters born before last year.