Monday, 19 January 2015

Naming your characters the easy way

 One of the particularities of my children’s book, Runaway Smile, is that all characters are nameless. I did this on purpose, as I rather enjoyed the concept of a nameless boy roaming the city, looking for its smile. In my mind, I had Little Prince; we don’t need a name to identify him.

What happens when you do want a name, though? Coming up with one can be tricky. This is an indecisive writer’s worst nightmare; the sort of situation that keeps you up all night. Mercifully, there are websites dedicated to helping out – thus proving that yes, you can find anything on the Internet.

For example, you can try out the Character Name Generator for fun. It’s a website that allows you to specify the age, sex and ancestry of your character, then suggests a random name. It even throws in a little suggestion for an appropriate personality, based on the Myers-Briggs personality test!

This is hardly the only one. There are dozens of similar websites and applications! A particularly interesting one is a free software called, appropriately enough, the Character Name Generator. More customizable than the website above, it also allows you to specify whether you’re looking for an obscure or a common name.

But wait – there’s more! Are you a fantasy writer, wondering what to call not just your mage, but also that cafe in the 9th ring of hell where he was accidentally thrown by that portal? Well, the good people at Fantasy Name Generators have created an entire website dedicated to spewing names for characters and places!

If your book is somewhat tongue-in-cheek, what better resource than the Fantasy Name Generator – the place that will give you not just any name, but an insulting name like Cheesefinger or Twitface, if you so desire? This is an invaluable tool for fantasy or science fiction writers, as it allows to specifically ask for names with apostrophes, vowel-heavy names, names with dashes etc.

So, next time you’re stuck for a character name (or, why not, a baby name), be sure to check out one of these great resources to help you out!

And if you’re curious as to what a book with no names looks like, read my children’s book Runaway Smile, online for free and find out!


                                                                   Book Blurb

I woke up this morning and I had lost my smile and it wasn’t my fault and I looked everywhere and it was gone. Then I met a workman and a king and the best salesman in the world and a clown and no-one wanted to give me theirs. At school, I asked Miss to give me hers, but she gave us a pop quiz instead, and then no-one was smiling and…
From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books

A little boy wakes up in the morning and realizes he has lost his smile. After spending the entire day trying to find it, he learns the truth behind smiles: the only real smiles are the shared ones

                                                        Contact Information

I’m all around the Internet, but the best place to find me would be my blog,

Anyone interested in my books can check them out on Amazon:

Also, people can read for free both Pearseus: Schism, on Goodreads and
Runaway Smile on my blog:

Other places to connect with me include


Brief bio

Avid reader. Web developer. Architect by training, holder of a PhD in Digital Architecture from the University of Edinburgh. Most importantly, author.

Nicholas loves to write. He has published Runaway Smile, a children’s book, and the Amazon best-selling epic fantasy series, Pearseus. The fourth book in the series is currently edited, and expected to be released mid-February.

He has also published The Power of Six, a collection of short sci-fi stories that include his award-winning short story, I Come in Peace. This, too, has reached #1 on Amazon.

Nicholas lives in Athens, Greece, at a forest’s edge, with his wife, dog and two very silly cats, one of whom is always sitting on his lap, so please excuse any typos in his blog posts: typing with one hand can be hard. Mercifully, all of his books are professionally edited.

                                                                     Blog Tour Links


"This tour sponsored by"


  1. Wow! I've never used name generators before, and these sound brilliant! :) Thanks for the tip. I am enjoying trailing you round the web, and I hope you enjoy your tour.

    Robin, thank you for hosting Nicholas, today! :)

    1. Lol - when I realized I didn't have to rake my brain for names, I started banging my head on the wall!

      Thanks for the stalking :D

  2. Thank you, Robin, for hosting this stop today.

    Nicholas, I loved your post. I had only used the name generator feature of Scrivener and had a lot of fun with that. I'll try these ones as well. Thank you.
    Hope you enjoy your tour. I'll surely be coming back for more.
    All the best,

    1. Thank you so much, Liz! Glad you found the post useful :)

  3. This is amazing.... I've never heard of a name generator, especially one that uses the Myers Briggs! Good heavens....

    All the best on your blog tour,


    1. I'm getting the impression that few authors have. I had a distrust of them at them, fearing they would come up with boring names, but it turns out they did the exact opposite: they allowed me to come up with names that would have never occurred to me :)

  4. Thank you so much for hosting my post, Robin! It was lovely being on your blog :)

  5. My pleasure. I had no idea those sites you mention existed. My list of characters already exceeds a hundred (it's a very long story) and I have an alphabetical list to keep track of them all. Thanks for broadening my horizons on the subject!

  6. So checking out these name generators! Love the idea that they match a name and a personality!