We all know how tough it is to get just the right name for a character.
- Does the name convey the subtle meanings we want?
- What does the name mean?
- Where in the world is it from?
- And in the case of some names, How do I pronounce it?
One of my first sales of a short-story, back before I got OFF the Dead Tree Publishing hamster wheel, featured a Japanese character. Not to put too fine a point on it, the story really isn’t about Japanese culture at all; it’s a sci-fi story that blends computer programs and origami. All I really wanted was a name that I could verify as being Japanese and male and I was off!
But for most of my main characters, I take just as much care and effort into their name as I do into crafting any other aspect of my story.
Here are five websites to help you with names!
Social Security Administration: Popular Baby Names by Year
You can set the year of birth and get anywhere from the top 20 to the top 1,000 names in that year
Not only the top names by year, but also by region.
Remember the movie “Heathers”? Not just the trends of an individual name, but also about over-reaching trends.
Another resources for regional names.
Because sometimes knowing the name is time-frame appropriate just isn’t enough!