What are your methods for creating character/place names for fantasy worlds


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Thread: What are your methods for creating character/place names for fantasy worlds

  1. #1

    What are your methods for creating character/place names for fantasy worlds

    Like playing any RPG game where you can create a character, the name is always the hardest part.

    If some of the more experienced writers could give us some insight on the matter, it wouldnt just help myself but many others that are struggling to think of the perfect name.

  2. #2
    There are many ways to do this. The hardest way is Tolkein's way -- to invent a fantasy language and create names from that. Me, I'm not much of a linguist, so I just mash random syllables together until something sounds good. Or I use an already-established name -- it's totally fine to have a fantasy universe where characters have names from real life. For place names you can also use qualities of the place (i. e. Iron Mountains, South Marshes). You could also smash real words together like David Lindsay ("Maskull," "Wombflash," "Joiwind," "Polecrab").

  3. #3
    Member Rojack79's Avatar
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    I start by researching the culture my fantasy world is supposed to emulate and then go from there.
    This might not be my best work but that just means there's room to improve.

    I don't have a big ego. You just can't comprehend my greatness!

  4. #4
    Also, one more thing: don't worry too much about "the perfect name." It doesn't have to be a perfect name; it just has to be good. Do I really care much if Aragorn's name sounds cool or not? No, not really. It's him as a character that matters. As long as the name fits, is not impossible to pronounce, and doesn't sound too silly (i. e. "Joost" from Six of Crows, which sounds like "juiced" when said out loud), you're fine.
    "So long is the way to the unknown, long is the way we have come. . ." ~ Turisas, Five Hundred and One

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  5. #5
    Get some alphabet pasta, separate vowels and consonants.
    Make a list of abstract nouns: Beauty, Love, Happiness, Lust
    For each word, replace all the vowels with random alphabet pasta vowels.
    Once this is done, switch up to three of the consonants for random alphabet pasta consonants.
    Repeat until you have names.
    Write these names down...

    Happiness = Roppokast, The High Priest of Dungmir

    Repeat until you have names.
    Go write story.
    "If you don't like my peaches, don't shake my tree."

    "Perhaps I write for no one. Perhaps for the same person children are writing for when they scrawl their names in the snow."

  6. #6
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    Try to imagine what they look like. What their characteristics are. A hero or villain. If they are an aggressive, rugged, strong , etc give them a hard name to match. For a softer, gentler character give them a smoother name. If a common name seems to fit, mix it up a little bit.


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  7. #7
    Member Sir-KP's Avatar
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    My steps:
    - Get a couple of keywords that describe the subject whether it's human or world
    - Find translation in another language
    - Mash it or tweak it
    - Ask yourself if this character or world 'looks like' a bearer of that name

  8. #8
    Place names can be created by using some descriptive qualities. World's edge for the last outpost of some kingdom perhaps?

    I'd like to think I'm actually a nice person in real life


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