Character and Place Naming in Fantasy

Hello again, so I wanted to share some resources I found while researching ways to name characters and places within my book.

I needed to start with my main character who is actually a human living on earth in our time: so this was really easy as I just had to find name generators in google and look at some different ones: however, I wasn’t totally satisfied with this and I knew the majority of my characters would have odd names from a fantasy or medieval setting. So with relative ease I found this awesome site! http://fantasynamegenerators.com/ This site has really anything for anyone, whether you’re writing sci-fi or fantasy I think it’s a great resource as it has place names, weapon names and spell names all in one place. I personally don’t follow it perfectly and usually I only include half of the name i get from it. My main character gets his last name from this site and I found the first on another site like this one: http://www.behindthename.com/random/ which even lets you pick the origin of the name if you want to give your character more of an origin than you communicate directly in the story. Even just starting my novel using this tool I have implanted a few easter eggs of backstories that may or may not be developed farther.

If you want your characters’ names to belong to a certain place or time in human history there are resources just for that such as http://www.top-100-baby-names-search.com/medieval-boy-names.html This allows your story to feel more authentic than naming a knight in shining armour “Chris” or “Jim”. It also adds a setting detail where there is no context so the reader doesn’t feel bombarded with detail and that they came up with the image on their own. For example, if a bearded man shouts for a woman named Helga we already have a picture in our mind of Scandinavian cliffs, horned helmets and golden locks.

A tool I use for naming places other than mixing the names of existing places in my novel is Toponymy. Using the study of place names an online resources you can discover the latin phrase for lake is. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_French_exonyms_for_Italian_toponyms

This again allows to to give origin and context to places and settings.

I have included a picture of Yennifer for a reason: I think it is an example of a fantastic name. Still sounding beautiful and natural it has a twist from Jennifer that seems foreign enough to impose a fantasy vibe. I will also develop this technique in my novel, alongside famous names it should make for an interesting game. I have currently started to plan for a wonderful character bearing the name of Garfield of Airtua. Indeed my account name is a reference to this, I plan to have a discrepancy between the pronunciation hoping to use it to create interesting dialog.

Finally, if nothing is right, find a word like “Tremendous”: then write it backwards “suodnemert”. Now sound it out “Suohdnemert”. If it’s Italian add a vowel, make it smooth and welcome to the wonderful kingdom of Suohdemerta.

Reach me at andy.of.airtoa@gmail.com

-APP

 

 

 

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