I like writing fiction, but I'm terrible at coming up with surnames. Do you have any ideas or know a way that I could come up with some ideas?
I used to write a Tall Tales column for a couple of newspapers and the editor was terrified that I'd use the name of one of his readers which might get him an angry phone call, or a letter from a lawyer. So I came up with some pretty strange names.-- Sebastian Stonesthrow was never far from the action.
-- Dr Sigmund Flapjack was my resident psychiatrist.
-- Peter Proboscis never got his nose out of joint.
-- Herman Nutznboltz was a German inventor.
-- Jenny Saypar (je ne sais pas) didn't know anything.
-- Kit Astrophe was a walking catastrophe.
-- Rose Cullard was an optimist. She wore rose coloured glasses.
-- Santo Peccadillo wanted to put piranha into fishponds to defend the goldfish against marauding cats.
-- Di Zaster was a failed business woman.
-- Honest Joe Blake (Joe Blake is Australian slang for a snake) was a real estate salesman.
-- Mijikai Itanimai was a Japanese businessman. ("Mijikai Ita ni mai" actually translates as "two short planks" and if you're as thick as two short planks, you're pretty dumb.)
There were lots of others.
Of course, those are not exactly what you want but any list of names will give you plenty of choices that are appropriate for the region in which your story takes place. You need look no further than your telephone directory.
Much like everyone else said, name generators and coming up with random, awesome ones are definitely the way to go (: You can also mix the names of people you know.
I am horrible at coming up with any names as well, so I just choose any word that suits the character, or character's family, and use Google translate to translate it into (mostly) a random language.
When I have came across the same problem I was advised by a well know writer to do what he did. First determine the era in which I was writing 1800s, 1900s, future, etc. The fast forward through a movie, or obtain the credits via the "library", based in that era and review all the credits, for names of technical people, make up artists, stunt people etc. In most cases he mixed and matched so he would avoid using the exact name of a real person. He preferred British movies for the names.