Part One: Naming Characters
This can be one of the most fun but most difficult parts of writing a story. A lot of writers like to be very intentional and specific when selecting names for their characters. For example, a writer may want to find a name with a meaning that fits the character, or they want a name to have cultural or historical significance. Or, if you are like me, you want to give your characters very unique names; because, after all, how many characters can we think of that are named "Mary" or "William" or "Jack"? Whatever your method is for naming characters, it can be quite a headache and a challenge to find the perfect name. But we all know that wonderful feeling when we've found the name that fits our character just right.
Here are my favorite websites that I frequently use to look for names.
(A rather small website archive, but it contains several lists I have found most useful.)
(A full archive of names from all kinds of mythology, listed in alphabetical order.)
"Names by Chinaroad"
(This website has dozens and dozens of links to full lists of names in just about every category you can think of. One of the first places I go to to find a name. Here is an example of some of their lists.)
"Wiktionary: Given Names"
(Very helpful and informative place to find names by their country of origin. You can find names from dozens of countries, even from ancient empires like Greece, Rome, and Persia. This is my first preference when I'm writing any historical fiction.)
"Meaning of Names"
(Perfect place for writers who are looking for names with a specific meaning. Names are categorized by meaning and there are dozens to choose from. A small sample.)
...and of course, many, many more.
"1,000 Most Common Surnames in the U.S."
(Great place to look for surnames. You can also search for surnames alphabetically and by ancestry.)
"20,000 + Names From Around the World"
(I have the most fun looking for names here. There are many lists of names categorized by their country of origin. The "special category" also lists many names by a specific meaning.)
- Special categories (Angel names, Dream names, Metallic names, Villain names, and many more.)
Hope you enjoyed part one, and have fun naming all your characters!