To provide you with this anthology, I have simply combed through saved browser links within my ‘Characters’ folder, which is code for ‘every website I have ever saved for future reference that has anything to do with writing.’ I find it insanely helpful, and I hope that you, my fellow writers, will find it helpful too.
The following may be weird and random.
That being said, let us begin.
1. Naming characters
Behind The Name – Definitely a personal favorite. Check off boxes for ethnic roots, time periods, genre type and era, and also pick gender and number of desired generated names. Refreshing the page will produce more names with your specifications
Baby Name Genie – Enter your character’s last name, select the gender (or not) and let the genie decide for you. The results will show up in conjunction with the last name for sound/aesthetic purposes.
Belly Ballot – Choose from categories like Ethnicity, Editor Favorites and Popularity by Given Year. You can also choose the gender and beginning letter.
Baby Names – A standard but comprehensive list of all types of baby names. Sortable by gender and beginning letter.
Last Name Generator – Handy for generating that perfect last name. It juxtaposes first name against last name for sound/aesthetic purposes.
Random Name Generator (Last Names) – an alphabetized list of common-sounding last names; perfect for a quick reference in the midst of writing.
2. Naming places/organizations/etc.
Seventh Sanctum - This site can be equally helpful and bothersome, but all the same, it can provide useful generators such as character names, organization/planet names, ship names, planet names and realm names. Seventh Sanctum also provides other generators, such as character descriptions and ready-made plots (not 100% recommended, but it can help get the creative mind rolling).
Kingdom Name Generator - Need a kingdom? One that sounds like an actual kingdom? Then look no further.
City and Town Name Generator - For when you need to offhandedly mention a nearby town or city, but don't want to invest real thought into naming it because it's only going to be there for a couple sentences, anyway. (Customize by country).
3. Human Behavior
How to think like a child - An insightful article on child behavior and how adults can "unlearn" grown-up thinking. I find this useful for both myself as a writer, and for characters who are naturally childish.
Passive-aggressive behavior - Particularly helpful reminders when writing manipulative characters.
How to Write the 5 Stages of Grief - I have found this article useful over and over again. If you've never experienced a particular grief, or if you don't know how to articulate a certain stage, this author gives useful, writing-centric and firsthand details.
4. Science Fiction Tidbits
List of super powers - Handy for either picking one off the bat, or combining them for that overpowered villain you've always wanted to write.
Scifi Name Generator - Useful for characters that sound like they stepped out of an Alien movie.
How to track a cell phone - You see it all the time in cop shows, but it's helpful to know more specific details about how it's done. (Also, please don't actually track someone's cell phone. This is for writing purposes only).
The Orion Arm - The branch of The Milky Way which houses our home planet. I have used this Wikipedia article to find the names, locations and details of specific star systems that would be realistic (if I may use that term) for sci-fi settings relatively close to Earth. It is also helpful/fun to follow the links to various nebulae, clusters and anomalies scattered throughout.
5. Mythology and Legend
Changelings - An overview of the mythology behind changelings (includes links to fictionalized works).
Greek Myths - A surface-level overview of many Greek myths, legends and gods/goddesses. Helpful for quick references and names.
The Project Gutenberg EBook of Myths and Legends of Ancient Greece and Rome, by
E.M. Berens - A much more comprehensive and complete look at these incredible stories. (HTML book; free online resource).
Irish Literature and Mythology - A list of real-life Irish authors and their stories, and also a collection of Irish legends, creatures and gods.
Dragons in Mythology and Folklore - All the dragons!
6. History and Military
Circus and Carnival Lingo - A list of historical (possibly current?) terms used in circuses.
List of Old English occupations - Also extremely helpful for fantasy novels/stories.
Victorian-era Sewing Patterns - Even if you don't sew, these patterns can help immensely with visuals sorted according to time period.
Non-Judicial Military Punishment - An overview.
U.S. Military Ranks - Helpful for stories about the military, or in my case, science fiction armies based on this setup.
U.S. Military Academy - Once again, helpful for science fiction military training references (I have returned to this several times for inspiration/details for my newest novel).
2017 Moon phase calendar - For all your werewolf/vampire needs.
Glossary of Flowers - Helpful for flora/fauna inspiration or naming characters.
My Pinterest - Technically not from my 'Characters' folder, but I thought you would appreciate these collections of writing tools: Writing Ideas and Resources, Character Fashion and Design and World Building.
I hope this was an advantageous read for all you writers! Feel free to bookmark these websites for your own use, and also feel free to add onto it in the comments. With luck, these links can spark your imagination and add depth and clarity to your own projects. With that said, have fun, and happy writing.