Author Topic: Names  (Read 1269 times)

Offline Heinrich

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 95
Names
« on: April 27, 2011, 06:31:29 AM »
Names, names, names! It's bringing me to my knees. I have all these ideas of where I want my story to go, but because it set in a fantasy world, I get stuck every time I have to give name to a new city, village, or character. I feel it is an element that greatly ads to the story and for the life of me, I find it the most difficult part. Am I over thinking it or is there some method to ease this process. How do you guys do it. I am really scared that I may inadvertently use another authors names ( I have read a lot of books in the past and fear that I may use a name that is some one else's creation).
 ??? ??? ???

Offline ma100

  • Esteemed Contributor
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 30526
  • I don't need kinky boots, nothing will beat me.
Re: Names
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2011, 06:37:36 AM »
The best advice I can give, is keep the names simple. Long names confuse and being fantasy, you don't want the name so distracting, it takes away from the story.

Offline Heinrich

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 95
Re: Names
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2011, 06:51:01 AM »
Is there any way to find out if a name I'm using has already been used by another writer,without actually reading every book ever written?

Offline ma100

  • Esteemed Contributor
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 30526
  • I don't need kinky boots, nothing will beat me.
Re: Names
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2011, 08:08:31 AM »
Nope, unless they are quite memorable and google is your friend and will pop it up. I wouldn't worry too much as long as you don't go for the well known like Harry Potter. ;D Lets face it, in real life there is millions of people with same names.

Offline Alice, a Country Gal

  • http://www.writestreet.com/writestree
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 31219
  • Hello from Texas
    • Alice's Hide Away
Re: Names
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2011, 12:18:00 PM »
Heinrich, don't sweat it.  As long as you keep the same name for a town or character through the whole ms, there isn't a problem.

If you do decide to change a name at some point; find and replace in your word processor is your friend.

Fantasy makes this easy when it comes to choosing names I think.

For towns or cities I often (but not always) consider what the most outstanding or important thing about the town is. Even in fantasy the inhabitants have to have a means of making a living, generally have some type of leader, government. Consider these or other interesting things such as the town's location, climate  . . . do any of these suggest a name that would be easy to connect to the town?

I have even more fun with character names.

One of my favorite characters began life as a young woman and she was given the name I had long wanted to give a real live daughter. But I was blessed with four sons. I couldn't stick any of them with the name Lucinda, so it was given to a character.

Another story and another young woman chose her own name in the story. The foster mother who raised her had, naturally given her a name. But after she grew to be a teen, she took the name Hexawen. In her mind it meant 'little witch' which was the way the village people treated her due to their superstitions. It was her way of dealing with them on their terms and at the same time, thumbing her nose at them.

Character names are often (for me) to be found in the characters themselves; the things they do, feel and how they act around others. Sometimes even in their physical being. Just as in our world, in fantasy a nick name comes from such things and can follow the character through the story.

I'm rambling and don't know if I've helped or not, so I'll hush for now.

Smiles,
Alice   
MWC Charity Publications.
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight>
The universe is made of stories, not of atoms. -Muriel Rukeyser, poet and activist (15 Dec 1913-1980)

R. L. Copple's: http://www.rlcopple.com/

I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.
-Mohandas K. Gandhi

Offline Heinrich

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 95
Re: Names
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2011, 02:53:25 PM »
Thanks Alice. To be honest, you just cleared it up for me. My biggest problem was over thinking it and like you say (or I hope I'm interpreting it correctly) is that the names will come of themselves, given a little thought, especially place names.  :). I have decided that I need to take a step back and give some real thought to the world my characters live in. Everything would be easier if I have a partial platform first, then later I can just add in the rest as the story develops.  "I hope"

Offline Alice, a Country Gal

  • http://www.writestreet.com/writestree
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 31219
  • Hello from Texas
    • Alice's Hide Away
Re: Names
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2011, 05:30:02 PM »
I agree with you Heinrich, a clear idea of the world your story lives in makes a lot of things easier . . . including names.  ;)
MWC Charity Publications.
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight>
The universe is made of stories, not of atoms. -Muriel Rukeyser, poet and activist (15 Dec 1913-1980)

R. L. Copple's: http://www.rlcopple.com/

I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.
-Mohandas K. Gandhi

Offline Amanda George

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4865
  • Currently editing all my manuscripts!
    • Stories 4 Children
Re: Names
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2011, 07:07:17 AM »
Thank you Alice and Heinrich... you've both just kicked my inspiration into gear for turning my short story into a novel that I've been stumbling over for ages but this thread has kicked my muse into action again so thank you both!   :-*
There is no beginning or end. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present (unknown)

Money cannot buy happiness but somehow, it's more comfortable to cry in a Mercedes Benz than it is on a bicycle.

Offline Heinrich

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 95
Re: Names
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2011, 08:28:36 AM »
No prob   :)

Offline Amanda George

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4865
  • Currently editing all my manuscripts!
    • Stories 4 Children
Re: Names
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2011, 08:56:15 AM »
It's now an early reader instead of a full-length novel which means that I've written/am writing a book for all aged children now!  lol

No prob   :)

There is no beginning or end. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present (unknown)

Money cannot buy happiness but somehow, it's more comfortable to cry in a Mercedes Benz than it is on a bicycle.

Offline Alice, a Country Gal

  • http://www.writestreet.com/writestree
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 31219
  • Hello from Texas
    • Alice's Hide Away
Re: Names
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2011, 11:00:27 AM »
Glad to have been a part of the foot that did the kicking Amanda.   8)
MWC Charity Publications.
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight>
The universe is made of stories, not of atoms. -Muriel Rukeyser, poet and activist (15 Dec 1913-1980)

R. L. Copple's: http://www.rlcopple.com/

I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.
-Mohandas K. Gandhi

Offline Amanda George

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4865
  • Currently editing all my manuscripts!
    • Stories 4 Children
Re: Names
« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2011, 01:16:27 PM »
Thank you so much, Alice!
There is no beginning or end. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present (unknown)

Money cannot buy happiness but somehow, it's more comfortable to cry in a Mercedes Benz than it is on a bicycle.