Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Insert Name Here: 3 Resources

Naming Resources:
Top 3 resources for choosing names of characters, places, etc.

For the names that don't just pop into my head, I have lots of rabbit holes to tumble down. Today, I'll share three of my most frequently used resources.

1. 20,000 Names: Back in the days of narrowband (if you're too young to know what that was, get off my lawn!) this site came into being...along with its ads, so run an adblocker if you're going to spend time here. It hasn't been updated and probably never will be. Still, it has names by region, language, fantasy categories, meaning, and genders (it predates gender inclusivity, so the names are male, female, or unisex). 

2. IMDB: Full Cast & Crew Listings: Oh sure, we all know the big names from our favorite TV shows or movies, but not too many of us stay to watch the full credits. The cast and crew list is a gold mine for naming. I don't straight lift a name, mind, but I do mix. 

3. Google Translate (among other translation sites): When it comes to locations or monsters, I use translation site(s) to look up a keyword that describes the place or thing, then I scroll through the assorted language options until a result catches my fancy. I try not to make phrases because #TranslationFail is real and often hilarious. If I ever get called out for this approach, I will accept my shaming. 

General Guidance: Before naming something--from the book title to a backwater town--do a generic web search on that name. It'll minimize the odds of you naming your hero after a serial killer or your ivory tower after a dung heap.