Character Generators

While listening to a Writing Excuses episode called Engaging Characters, their guest Nancy Fulda, mentioned character generators. (Season 9 Episode 10 )

I’d never heard of such a thing!

Since I’m working on a new novel outline, I was curious enough to check it out. I do already use a name generator to help name my characters. Way back in May of 2011, I wrote a blog post about it called Naming Your Characters. I still use the Random Name Generator for almost every project I work on. (here’s that post if you’re interested)

On the podcast, while discussing character quirks and the pitfalls that can bring, Nancy says the character generators can be a “useful way to make sure your characters are not all homogenous” but, it’s then “even stronger if you then take that list of unusual elements of your character and look for causalities.”

I agree. While I wouldn’t take a character fully as it comes up in the generator, it does make you think about what you could use or what different directions you could go in. I found this character interests generator at I kept refreshing the generators until something popped out at me. Someone who loves to make birdhouses? Yes, please. I’ll give that to the person that’s my nurturing, true believer character.

Here are some generators I found:

 Ran Gen: Personality Generator: Has several generators including: Character Personality, Character Motivations, Character Skills, Character Flaws and Weaknesses, Character Secrets and more!

Writing Exercises: Random Character Traits Generator

 Fantasy Names Generator: Character Descriptions

 Character Generators for Writing Prompts?

I also thought these generators would make for some great story prompts and writing exercises. I’ve told myself that I’m going to do this. Here’s a few examples from the generators at Feel free to use them!

1. Your character’s interests include radios, crystal balls, and magnifying glasses.

2. Your character’s interests include country music, ferrets, and drawing.

3. Your character’s interests include stained glass art, old computer games, goldfish, and war memorabilia.

4. Your character’s interests include television mystery shows, yo-yos, and elves.

5. Your character is chronically ill, afraid of a common animal, and possessive of people.

6. Your character would do almost anything to create an unforgettable piece of art.

7. Few know that your character is having an affair with a spooky call center operator.

I hope you find the generators useful for practice or your current and future WIPs. Have fun and happy writing!


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