Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Naming Your Unforgettable Character: Tools You Can Use

“I want to feel passion, I want to feel pain. I want to weep at the sound of your name. Come make me laugh, come make me cry... just make me feel alive.” —Joey Lauren Adams

What’s in a Name?
Trying to find the right name for your characters? Names change over time. Choose a popular name that fits the historical period of your story. The Social Security Administration lists the most popular names by year for every year since 1880. It also lists the five most frequent given names for male and female babies born between 1908-2007.

Researching Names

Below you will find some websites to help you research names for your characters.

First Names

This is an internet-based name generator.

The sites below list first names.

Contains 20,000 names from around the world.
Provides a first name by country origin and the meaning.
Includes 43 links other naming websites.
Lists 12 links to other naming websites.


Research surnames on the links below.
Search for surnames and their meanings.
Find the ethnic origin and meaning of last names.
This is the Google directory of surname sites.

Avoid a Lawsuit
After you’ve named your character, Google the name. If your person lives in a town named in your book or article, check that town’s phone book to make sure no one by that name lives there.

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