Monday, December 10, 2012

Writing Roulette: All the Generators You'd Ever Want, Part 1

While I'm still getting back on my feet, this week I'll post a couple of my most popular posts. The generators in this post and the following one are some of the most-searched for through Google. If you've got other generators to suggest, leave a note in the comments. Here's hoping one of these generators will give you the inspiration you need!

Continuing the series of resources from the NaNoWriMo forums, I discovered all kinds of threads with links to generators for writers. What's a generator? It's kind of like playing roulette with story ideas.

Let's say you need a name for a particular walk-on character. It's a man, who hails from Brazil. You could spend all kinds of time researching, or you can click over to a random name generator that is specific by country. Voila! Your character is no longer nameless.

You may not need all these generators, and admittedly, some are more frivolous than others. But there may be a few you want to bookmark that will come in handy in the future.

Plot
Terrible Things Generator: helpful if you can't think of more trouble for your character.
Plot Generator: a beginning, middle, and end to get you started.
Plot Scenario Generator: try these ideas on for size.
Random Story Generator: a complete plot in a paragraph.

Titles
Random Title Generator: gives you six random titles that are actually pretty good!
Abstract Art Title Generator: uses art to come up with titles, and links to Google so you can see if that title has ever been used.

Characters
Appearance Generator: choose either a simple or detailed description.
Motive Generator: what makes your character do what they do?
Quirks Generator: Give your character an unusual twist.
Bulk Character Generator: need lots of walk-on characters? Let this generator do the heavy lifting.
Everyday Problem Generator: helps make your character feel real.
Character Generator: gives you a character with traits and strengths and weaknesses.

Names
Fantasy Name Generator
Elven Name Generator 
Elf Name Generator
Fake Name Generator: includes lots of details like height, weight, occupation, and birthdate
Random Name Generator: this one includes many ethnicities to choose from, plus the name's history and meaning.
Favorite Name Generator: choose names you like, and the software comes up with new ones.

Come back tomorrow for generators on setting, fun stuff, and sites that have collections of even more generators.
Do you have any favorite generators to add to the list? Leave a link in the comments.

Other posts in the series:
Resources for plotting a novel.
Generators, Part 2.

20 comments:

  1. Wow. I clicked through to a few of those and they are interesting. We're almost to the end of this month of challenges.

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  2. I'm mainly planning to use the name generators. Since I write about specific countries, I think these will save me some time!

    ~Debbie

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  3. And don't forget to check the Generator Blog right here on blogspot. Some of the generators are useful to writers, others are just for fun.

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  4. Thanks, Anonymous! Here's the link in case anyone wants to check it out: http://generatorblog.blogspot.com/

    ~Debbie

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  5. Some of those are quite fun! Thanks, Debbie.

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  6. It might be interesting to write a novel based entirely around what the generators come up with!

    ~Debbie

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  7. Another amazingly helpful post, Debbie!

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  8. Excellent character name generator here:
    http://edit-my-book.com/name-generator.html

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  9. Thanks so much for the link! I'll check it out.

    ~Debbie

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  10. Nothing like arbitrary combinations to set off the imagination. Thank you very much for this list; I've included it into one of my blog entries. It's great you've decided to spend your time on helping other writers.

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    1. Glad you enjoyed it! That's what I love best--helping writers with whatever has helped me. :)

      ~Debbie

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  11. is there a setting generator? I cant think of a setting for my book!

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    1. Yes! Click on the link to Part 2 at the bottom of the post, and there are several generators for setting.

      ~Debbie

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  12. Here are a few more: http://afairmaiden.webstarts.com/characters.html

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  13. Thank you, Maria! Nice to have them all in one place. :)

    ~Debbie

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  14. Looks like all lady's on here, I like that lol....I was curious to know if there is a software that will give the same results as the plot generator or caricture generators. I know about a few softwares like charicature pro 5 but It needs a story in order for it to work as far as I know. I would like to see some detail into caricture personality cause lets face it, books is far more detailed then these generators. Can anyone help me with references???

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  15. Thanks for visiting, Curtis! I don't know of software like what you're looking for, but I'll definitely contact you if I run across something. : )

    ~Debbie

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  16. If you need blank fantasy map without names of towns, kindoms and rivers , just geography, you can find it here. http://sedeslav.deviantart.com/

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for the link! I'll add it to the post so no one misses it. : )

      ~Debbie

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  17. Most of the links aren't working it says 404, is it the site or just my computer?

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