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Names?

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by Sami, Dec 28, 2011.

  1. I find names exceedingly important. The name is part of the character's identity and often, I can't get a good grasp of my character until I give him or her a name.

    Fantasy names, I can usually make up on the spot or generate randomly with an online tool. I generaly try to make names from the same culture have a similar sound.

    Giving characters real-life names is way, way harder because I'm usually extremely picky about it. For example, I like my heroes to have unusual and heroic-sounding names, but without making them sound too cartoonish.

    Oh, and this reminds me: One of my stories took place in a made-up country that used a Romantic language based on Latin, so when naming the locals I could look at Romantic names, go back to the original latin name, and then create a new "branch" from that root. That was kinda fun.
     
  2. Dakkle

    Dakkle Dreamer

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    I've been looking at name generators for some of my characters, others are more usual reflecting on where they were born and grew up.

    The seventh Sanctum name generator isn't bad.
     
  3. If it comes to generating names, I use the RinkWorks fantasy name generator - it actually randomizes letters into names. You have to go through a ton of them before you find ones that are actually useful, but at least they won't seem generic.

    But, yeah, mostly I just make them up by myself. I find it helps to think of names as sounds, not as combinations of letters.
     
  4. ahgar

    ahgar Acolyte

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    not really
     
  5. ink.

    ink. Dreamer

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    One of the most important thing with names, for me, is being able to read and easily pronounce the damned thing. You don't want to end up like poor old John Travolta here... JOHN TRAVOLTA SAYS IDINA MENZEL @ THE OSCARS 2014! - YouTube

    Granted, Idina Menzel isn't terribly difficult to say. John Travolta is an idiot. But, try to consider the reader, give them something they at least imagine they can pronounce.
     
  6. Jabrosky

    Jabrosky Banned

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    I use donjon's Fantasy Name Generator nowadays. It's handy in that it invents fictional names using sounds from real cultures around the world and throughout time.
     
  7. Bansidhe

    Bansidhe Minstrel

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    I usually go with names from the real-world cultures I base my world building on, and where my characters are from within that world. Sometimes I'll to reverse lookup to find names based on a meaning I'm looking to convey, to keep the character steeped in the meaning or quality I'm looking for. I try to avoid anything unpronounceable, or too many characters with similar-sounding names, so my readers don't lose track or get confused.
     
  8. Hainted

    Hainted Sage

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    People's Names by Holly Ingraham is what I use. It covers over 100 cultures from all over the world, and all points in time from Mesopotamia to Modern Iceland. On top of that she goes into the culture's naming conventions so you build an authentic sounding name and understand why Rosario Garcia in modern times would more likely be Rosario Maria Garcia de la Rosa a few decades back, and why that distinction is important.On top of that she includes a section in the back on building Shadow Languages(Conlangs) for naming purposes, and making them consistent for the culture you're creating. Definitely worth the price.
     
  9. technopony13

    technopony13 Acolyte

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    The names of my characters usually always go with the character so say for example; Kou means Night rain so I would probably use that name for a character who was born in the night, or to describe how naive she is.
     
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