Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like
Actually, quite a bit. And that’s why I always put a lot of thought into the names of my characters. If you create a hero named Toby Hitler, you might have trouble attracting an enthusiastic readership. Likewise, if your protag has a bland name — Joe White — it might be hard for readers to get a real sense of him (unless that’s your intent).
In Town Father, I put my hero, Henry O’Farrell, in the midst of 300 women. It seemed only reasonable that each of those women should have her own name, so on page 99 of the paperback you’ll find a list of them. That’s right. A list of 300 distinct and individual names.
Boy, was that a challenge! And fun too.
What happened was, serendipitously, I was receiving a lot of junk email at the time from senders with interesting female names. I started collecting them. I had so many in my folder that I thought it would be a shame to waste them, so I decided to compile the best of them into my list. And when I came up just a tad short of 300, I turned to a tool every fiction writer should take advantage of:
Go ahead. Check it out. Jot down some of the gems that pop out. And start to think of their particular stories.
It’s habit-forming, so exercise a little time discipline.
Here are a few to get you jazzed: Lynnell Hapuarachchi, Renaud Meszaros, Florinda Broughton, Nicolas Ney, Alberta Garron.
And here a few from my forthcoming novel (though I don’t think I used a generator for these): Sally Pavlou, Clive Bridle, Mrs. Vierundfünfzig, Zack Mantic, Iona Carr.
Now run along and cast your next novel!