There are a number of online random name generators. The writing program Scrivener has one built in that is really powerful.
Very true. I know that Mr. King has long established--and successfully--his own methods for creating his characters, so this post is more for the other writers out there who struggle with names and basic character creation. The tools used by the various generators differ significantly in both scope and complexity. I'm familiar only with the last one (I should be, since I made it), so there may be settings and tools that I don't know about, but here are some examples of the characters or names each generates:
Originally Posted by Scrivener (using the American setting)
Caden Reyes Chevelle Serrano Leigh Ann Ellis Jasontae Dennis Jaelin Mcfarland
Originally Posted by Behind the Name (using the English setting, 0, 1, 2, & 3 middle names)
Alyse Turnbull Totty Leanne Madison Elijah Ralph Teddy Bannerman Rosalynne Lois Talitha Monica Way
Originally Posted by Write it Now (generic settings)
Alejandra Adah Kamat
Created with the Myers-Briggs Personality Types personality data using the Character type 'ESFP'.
Alejandra dismisses any long-term consequences. She needs to be the centre of attention. She learns best from hands-on experience. She has smooth inter-personal skills.
Comedian Bob Hope is like this.
Alejandra has a full mouth and her eyes are adorable and brown. She always rubs her hands when she is introduced. Alejandra drinks slowly and has good health. She has a unique look. She is extremely plain. She would say jewels are not needed.
Drew Joe Tutela
Created with the Enneagram personality data using the Character type 'TYPE4'.
His reckless behaviour has caused some problems. He always stands out. He has to be an individual. Drew is susceptible to emotional ups and downs.
The writer Franz Kafka is similar to this.
Drew eats all the time and his pulse rate is high. He loves clothes. His eyes are very even. He is quite short. He looks weak. He has large hands and his eyes are strange and dark brown.
Shelly Lucia Karner
Created with the Enneagram personality data using the Character type 'TYPE8'.
When feeling relaxed Shelly is very generous. When she first meets people they find her abrupt. She makes critical decisions and never vacillates. She can be quite abrasive.
US President Franklin Roosevelt is one well-known example of this type.
Shelly is quite plain. She is graceful and is very lithe. Her blood pressure is high and she exercises all the time.
Camron Codi Leabow
Created with the Archetypes personality data using the Character type 'Trickster'.
Recently Camron had a nervous breakdown. He wants danger. He seeks adventure. He almost always wants to take risks.
The Joker in Batman is a typical example of this.
Camron looks fit. He is moderately tall. He has perfect health. He looks quite attractive.
Gladys Gertrudis Gertsch
Created with the Archetypes personality data using the Character type 'Hero'.
Her strong moral sense guides her actions. She supports what is right. She believes in fairness. She has a few followers.
Luke Skywalker in 'Star Wars' is one well-known example of this type.
Her clothes are too old. Gladys has a stutter and has a birth mark on her arm. She is fairly tall. Her smile can be friendly.
Originally Posted by Dramatica (using generic settings)
Originally Posted by SaD People Maker (story date set to November 01, 2013)
Leah Navarro Name means: Love | Plains in the Hills
Born November 29, 1979 Born on Thursday (Far to Go) Sign: Sagittarius (Independence and Adventure)
Sex: F Age: 33.9 Ht: 5' 4¼'' Wt: 115# Hair: Strawberry Blond Eyes: Ultramarine
Dorian Navarro Name means: unknown / family name | Plains in the Hills
Born January 25, 1992 Born on Saturday (Works Hard) Sign: Aquarius (Freedom and Excitement)
Sex: M Age: 21.7 Ht: 5' 9½'' Wt: 155# Hair: Dark Blond Eyes: Sea Green
Jesse Martin Name means: Gift | Warlike
Born March 12, 1994 Born on Saturday (Works Hard) Sign: Pisces (Spirituality and Intuition)
Sex: M Age: 19.6 Ht: 5' 9½'' Wt: 139# Hair: Sandy Brown Eyes: Chocolate Brown
Joshua Martin Name means: God is Salvation | Warlike
Born October 24, 1961 Born on Tuesday (Full of Grace) Sign: Scorpio (Passion and Extremes)
Sex: M Age: 52.0 Ht: 5' 9¾'' Wt: 142# Hair: Salt and Pepper Eyes: Dark Brown
Rachael Echeverria Name means: Ewe | New House
Born March 25, 1981 Born on Wednesday (Full of Woe) Sign: Aries (Adventure and Enthusiasm)
Sex: F Age: 32.6 Ht: 5' 6'' Wt: 128# Hair: Chestnut Eyes: Dark Blue
Yes, he has a baby name book, has used a phone book, names he's heard or read elsewhere, and a lot of family/friend/business associate names get used. Not sure if he keeps the baby name book and phone book on his desk--I don't remember ever seeing them but I know he's mentioned having used them in the past.
Having visited Bangor multiple times, I've seen where Flagg and Deschain may have come from!
...do tell...examples?....and he's more preposterous than say Jordy Verill?...c'mon, it ain't an easy job to come up with names to hang on his "people", but there are many-to use your word "preposterous" names in real life...not like Unca Steve would have randomly chosen REAL monikers like "Moon-Unit" or "Weezer" out of the phone book...
Hey now... Jordy Verrill is one of the best names in all of literature.
He seems to use a lot of French names, But I guess that comes from Maine being somewhat close to Quebec, Canada.
You're on the right track. There are a lot of people who live here who are of French descent in part due to emigrating through from Canada. Northern Maine (Aroostook County, known locally just as The County) has a lot of that influence and their regional accent and colloquialisms reflect that.