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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

My Top Five Favorite Name Sites

My hero and heroine pretty much never let me choose their names. Out of all the ideas I've had, there's only been one time I've been allowed to pick a name. It ended up being torturous and I told my characters that they can go back to telling me their names. It's easier that way.

But there are times when they give me clues rather than their real name. Case in point was Ryne from In the Midnight Hour who simply said, My name starts with an R. Thanks. I went through about a million R names and all I heard from her was no, that's not it until I was ready to scream. I'd about exhausted all the resources I had when I finally stumbled across Ryne under girls' names. Usually, it's a masculine name.

There are also secondary characters who need names, and since they probably only introduce themselves about 30% of the time, I need naming sites. Here are my favorite sites for searching out character names.

  1. Nameberry -- Great lists, lots of unusual names, and community contributors make this one of the first sites I visit when I need a name.
  2. Behind the Name -- Again a lot of unusual names from around the world, this site also has a name generator which sometimes comes in handy.
  3. 20,000 Names from Around the World -- They have tabs of names from around the world, but my favorite part is where they have names in categories for example Warrior Names, Dragon Names, etc.
  4. Fantasy Name Generator --  The generator lets you make choices like long names, short names, consonant heavy names, etc.
  5. Baby Name Guide -- Not only sorted into country of origin, they also have categories like Arthurian Legend Names and Mythology Names.
As I'm looking at my list, I realize it's the sites that put names into categories that I like. Not so much the country of origin because that really makes no difference to me, but things like Warrior Names or Arthurian Legend Names really work well for me. Sometimes I just have a sense and these categories help a lot then. Other times, it's just neat to see a group of different names in one place to have a look when I'm absolutely clueless on a secondary character's name.