The Writer They Call Tay (awanderingbard) wrote,
The Writer They Call Tay

Character Development Links

As anyone who has followed this journal for any length of time probably knows, I am a person who likes making characters, developing characters, and coming up with details and backstories for characters. As a result, I have a lot of resources I use. I thought it might be helpful to my fellow writers if I make a resource list for them. Also make it easier for me to find them when I need them.



Behind The Name (In all honesty, you could get by with just this name site alone. It's incredibly thorough, with both common and unusual names, easy to search by meaning or origin of a name, and variations, diminutives, and translations of the name all on one page. It also has a category of names grouped by theme, so you can click 'military' and find names to do with war and battle and soldiers, for example, and a random name generator which will give you a random name, along with a surname if you want it, and you can narrow the name generator's output by origin. Instant Frenchman!)

Baby (This one is good for finding unusual names with a specific meaning, as they have less 'traditional' names than Behind the Name does, though it's not as well-researched and some of the meanings are suspect. I like that you can hover over a name and get the meaning without having to go to a separate page.)

Nymbler (A good tool for naming a family of minor characters or to find a name to replace one that isn't working. You type in a name or names you like and they suggest ones that are similar in style. So, if you have a two siblings and you need a third sibling name, you can type them in and they'll suggest names that would suit that style of naming.)

Nameberry (Lots of theme name lists, which can be useful if you're looking for names with a specific meaning or feel.)

Onomastikon (A huge, vast collection of both first and and last times, categorized by region, with a section devoted to ancient and medieval names. Some meanings, but mostly just lists of names. Great if you're trying to populate a region with appropriate names.)


Fragrance Finder (Men) (Answer questions, it suggests the type of cologne you might like. Good for helping you decide what your character might choose to smell like.)

Similar Minds (A slew of personality tests based on the classic Myers Briggs and Jungian Personality types, as well as a bunch of others. Even answering the questions as your character gives you new insight into them.)

Daemon Finder Quiz (VERY long, but extremely accurate. Suggests personality types and appropriate animals at the end. It looks like you need to register, but if you tell it you're in a relationship and don't want to find other people, it'll just take you to the answers, no information entering required)


Fake Name Generator (actually generates a full identity based on the country you choose, with everything from a name to a Mastercard number.)

Trait/Personality Generator (click and drag to pull out traits in a variety of categories)

Gender/Sexuality Generator (similar concept, but related to sexuality and relationships)

Profession Generator (lets you choose from a specific industry, or just generate a completely random one. Often gives me professions I didn't know existed.)

Grow a Face (generates random portraits, click on one you get more of a similarly-themed selection, rinse and repeat until you find one you like.)

Character Generators (a list of various types to fill in background details for a character, from appearance to a family tree. Lots of other generators available at the same site.)


Charahub (a great site in and of itself, it lets you gather profiles for all your characters in one place, and has a huge collection of fill-in-the-blanks questions to help you build up a profile.)

A collection of memes from my journal that I've done:
Quirks #1
Quirks #2
Shippy Meme
Daemon Meme
Questions #1
Questions #2
Questions #3
Questions #4

Mannerisms (a list of common mannerisms someone might have, with the suggestion of bolding the ones you've given to your characters)

Tags: character development, misc./non-fic, resources

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