Week four of the Tech Savvy Writer posts. Today, we're covering generators for characters, maps and images.
Generators are used to power ideas - not to copy and paste. Check out the resources listed below to see what ideas they spark for you.
Characters can make or break a story – or a writer. Sometimes you can get horribly stuck on a name. I’m in the middle of writing book three in the Lissae series at the moment, and one of my characters still has a placeholder name – Tall. It’s a descriptor. I know who she is, and I know I need to go back through and carefully replace any reference to Tall in the manuscript when I can finally figure out what she’s called.
But if you’re writing on the fly and you don’t want to get bogged down and loose the flow, you can always use generators.
My favourite by far is the Fantasy Name Generator. It’s a bit of a misnomer, as it can generate way more than just names. With over 1300 generators, you can do everything from find the perfect name for your Pegasus to creating blueprints. It’s a brilliant resource. Something I always do, is pick the generator I’m after, and then press the “Get names” button three times, then I’ll take part of the name from one bit, and part from another and another and adapt it all at the end. I use this site for inspiration, not for just mashing ideas together and forming a story.
Charactercreator.org is brilliant if you’re a visual person, and want to be able to describe a character after looking at one. You can randomise or choose the features that you want your character to have. Like all generators, it’s going to have it’s limits, but it is pretty fun to play with.
If you’re more text based, and you need a background character with a bit of detail,
Quick Character Generator is the way to go. Choose by gender and age range, and it will spit out basic details, Personal status and views, traits and favourites. Again, like any other generator, adapt and change as you see fit. These are all a starting point, not the end goal.
Character-generator.org.uk gives you options to focus on particular parts of a character without having to go through the entire process. Although there is also the option for a detailed profile.
Stay tuned for next week, where I cover places to get maps and images for your writing needs.