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Tip Tuesday #129

Tip Tuesday features writers' tips on craft, research, querying, blogging, marketing, inspiration, and more. If you'd like to send in a tip, please e-mail me at agentspotlight(at)gmail(dot)com.

Today I have a great tip from the lovely Laura Lascarso whose debut YA novel COUNTING BACKWARDS comes out in August. Laura’s contributions to the blog also include tips #66, #69, #83, #94, #102, #111, and a guest post. Please visit her site when you’re done here. She’s just posted a link to her first interview!

What’s in a Name?

By Laura Lascarso

If you are stumped with coming up with your characters’ names, I encourage you to visit www.behindthename.com. This website organizes names according to nationality, gender, popularity, meanings and more. It’s one of the more comprehensive and easy-to-use name generating websites that doesn’t feel too dated. And, as a bonus, it has a super fun Random Renamer where you can pick categories such as “fairy” and “witch.”

For instance, when you combine Transformer, Fairy and Wrestler, you get

Gigglecheeks Triple Crippler

Combine Witch, Goth and Rapper, you get

Fearfist Kool-D

The combinations are endless!

And BehindTheName will even name your twins in linguistically logical ways. An example, Aidan and Nadia are each other’s names spelled backwards. How cool is that?

Now, I’ll give you three randomly generated names and you decide what best way to attribute them:

1. Soulhaze Highway

2. Spirit Blaster

3. Spandex Blob Onslaught

I know, right?


  1. Ha! Love the random names.
    The behindthename will be a great resource. Thanks!

  2. I've heard of that site but never bookmarked it. Thanks! Creating names is one of my favorite things with writing. I tend to use the good 'ole SSN name database which has historical rankings of the top popular U.S. baby names by year. But I tend to write historical and contemporary, not fantasy, so I like to know which names were popular in an era.

  3. Great tip Laura. Thanks for sharing it.

  4. I think I'm in love with Spandex Blob! LOL!! Thanks for the link and the fun tip on choosing names! Take care

  5. What fun! I have the hardest time picking names for my characters. I love the Aidan/Nadia example. And the Random Renamer seems like a great way to generate character nicknames. Congrats on your debut novel!

  6. This is so fun! And, oddly enough, I posted about names today, too! Great minds think alike! *Laura must be a genius* ;)

  7. I actually already had that site bookmarked but had forgotten about it. As a picture book writer (and a sometimes rhymer), every syllable and sound counts. Sometimes I like to look for names that start with a certain sound or letter or have a certain number of syllables. Here's the site I use: Baby Names Finder. It's in the middle part of the page.

  8. Great tip. I too got a chuckle out of using the random names how we wish. That is a good site. Another good tip is using the phone book - randomly finding first and last names by flipping the pages open - just drop it and see where it lands. Thanks for the tip. I look forward to more, and congrats on your debut novel coming out. E :)

    Elysabeth Eldering
    Author of Finally Home, a middle grade/YA paranormal mystery

  9. Very cool! I hadn't heard of that site. :) Thanks for the tip.

  10. I know I'm late on this, but just wanted to stop in and say I'm so thankful for this tip. I've been having trouble naming some of my characters, and I think this site will help me a lot.