Generating Character Names with Scrivener

Have you ever struggled to find that perfect name for your character?  Perused your personal library, looking for that one, great combination?  Mixed several product names to come up with that unique, but reasonable character moniker?

If you use Scrivener, you have a great and wonderful tool at your disposal.

If you’re not aware of it, let me show you how to get there.

After opening Scrivener, click “Edit”, then “Writing Tools”, and select “Name Generator”.


This pop-up box will appear:


Clicking the gear symbol on the lower right corner of the pop-up window will open the control screen.  Select your gender, nationality, or even combinations of two forenames or surnames.  You can even adjust a slider bar to find a more obscure name.

Adjust the slider bar to number of names you wish to generate, and then simply click “Generate Names”.


And voila!  A list of names.


A warning, though.  You may lose track of time playing with this tool.

Have fun!

Writing update

Last week I finished my first short story.  It is a light horror story, just short of 5,000 words.  This is the longest piece of writing I have done since high school.  I let it sit a few days, and then completed my first edit yesterday.  (took 4 hours) I ended up adding 400 words.   I wanted to enter a Writers Digest contest, but the world count cannot exceed 4,000.  I don’t know if I can cut out 1,400 words and it still tell the same story.  So, maybe I’ll just submit it as is.

From the various podcasts I listen to, books I am reading, and e-newsletters I get, I am improving my thought process of developing a story.  I’ll try to add some links to the resources that have helped me improve my writing skills.

I am also planning on participating and winning NaNoWriMo.  I am using Scrivener, and have started to outline the plot and develop my characters.  I have also been keeping a writing journal with me to jot down any story ideas, or scenes for existing ideas.

I have been using Dragon Dictation for my iPhone to help keep me writing every day.  To me, this allows me to utilize my time while running errands, driving the kids around town, and doing the chores.

Until next time, have fun and enjoy each day.


Daily Musings

So today I started with my outline. Kinda felt overwhelmed as the task seem daunting at first…where to begin? Character? Plot? Setting?

I chose to reread my plot idea, and create a plot summary. I then started to think about the setting. Where would my story take place? When? What is going on in the world? By starting with my setting, I generated some ideas as to why the main character chose the actions he did.

This led me to add some more ideas to the plot, and change some existing ones. I kept thinking of how my character would act in certain situations. I then started to flesh out my characters.

So far I have a main character, and 2 minor characters. 1 of the minor characters will take on a major role in the story. The character’s traits were slow to emerge until I put myself in their shoes. This helped me understand how I wanted the characters to act in certain situations. In the back of my mind is to make sure I avoid clichéd characters.

After 2 hours of writing, I have written 613 words – and havent even started writing the story. Just trying to understand the direction of the story. While I knew writing does work and dedication, this a lot slower than I imagined.

So far…

So far, I have written down some ideas for a few short stories, and a 3-part series.   One is just a few sentences of a high level story plot, and the serial has the generalized plot arc.  I havent yet fleshed out the stories, or what type of characters will tell the story.

I have also been reading several articles and sites on the web to help refresh my writing education.  Writer’s Digest,, Learn to Write Fiction, and (Orson Scott Card) are the most common reviewed.  I have also purchased OSC’s Characters and Viewpoints to help me understand how to really develop my characters.

I need to learn which outline method I should use, as my previous method of writing was just to write until I exhausted my ideas.  This may still apply, but I hope my stories will have more continuity.



New Writer

Hello World!

I am pursuing a dream of writing novels and short stories.  While partial to Fantasy and Sci Fi, I will touch on other genres of fiction.  I have never written a story before to be published, so I’ll be chronicling my experiences here.  I am striving to write something each day (at least, that is what I ‘m hoping to do!). 

Please send me any comments, ideas, recommendations, or even positive vibes to stay motivated and write a good story.  Though I am writing for myself, I hope to show my kids that they can do anything if they at least try, and then persevere.