It’s surprising that given the vast quantity of forenames and surnames in the world, authors generally tend to stick to a very limited pool. As an editor I’ve noticed that often there’s a preference for a particular initial letter (frequently J with forenames) in a book or a certain sounding surname (ones starting with Mc are very popular). And it’s quite common that names are duplicated.
So how is it that such obviously creative people as authors get a little stuck in a rut when it comes to names? I’m not sure, but help is at hand.
Chris has developed a very easy-to-use names app for you to use. It’s here. You select whether it’s a male or female name you’re after, and then you can select an initial letter if you wish, or opt for random if you have no preference. Then you select from any of eight nationalities (currently) for your character, or again you can opt for random. You click on the Forename button and up pops the app’s solution in the ‘Your generated name’ area.
Repeat the procedure for the surname, without specifying gender this time, and here you have a wider selection of nationalities to choose from, plus random as usual. Click on the Surname button and you get that suggestion too. And there you have it - a name for your character.
Chris will be adding a listing facility to this app so you can keep a track of the names of everyone in your book and so avoid any repetitions or possible confusions if names are too similar.