Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Names

..this should be the last thing you're worried about. 
 http://www.wallpaperbase.com/wallpapers/animals/peacock/peacock_1.jpg
  Look! An albino peacock! Sorry, go on.
 
However, I love names. I love collecting the best, prettiest, coolest fantasy names out there and scattering them all over my story like a cartload of feathers which tipped over because the horse slipped on a patch of ice.

Poor Mariella, she doesn't like naming characters. (sniff). Maybe it's because good names are hard to come by, hard to remember, and they change all the time.


I think I have a mind for names though. I'm always switching letters around, replacing them, adding new ones to create names. Unfortunately, that means I quickly get bored of them. Heck, I'm already bored with my own. Oh well.


Here are some links to some of the best random name generators on the web. Many names generated by these things are unusable, but these are. I almost never use the name exactly as it comes out. I tweak it most of the time.

http://nine.frenchboys.net/
The absolute best one. It's got people names, place names, restaurant names, plot generators, even a clothing generator. And you can actually use the names.

http://online-generator.com/name-generator/fantasy-name-generator.php
These names are good, diverse, and sorted into categories. Only a name at a time, but you can save them.

http://dicelog.com/yafnagen
For the occasional use.

http://donjon.bin.sh/scifi/name/#terran_female
Not as slick, but I like the names more.


Here's the process I go through for names, using my novel as an example.


Normally, I have a name already picked out.
That just happens when you're good with names. I have a huge name list and add to it almost every day. Some sources-bridal magazines, real people, foreign languages, and rarely-very rarely-random name generators. 


If not, I keep an eye out for a name I can tweak to fit.

If not, I give it a code name until until I can find a "real" name.
One of my antagonists' name was Tatyana(the most cliched female antagonist name in the history of the earth) until Fate of the Jedi: Backlash named one of the Nightsisters Halliava. I didn't like the edgy v so I gave it a nicer n and boom-Halliana. (The last name, Silvera, stayed.)


And even the name of my novel: Or Die Trying has changed. It was first Approaching Thunder, then Amaranthine Jewel, then Amaranthine.'
 
Names change as your character develops. What worked before may not work now.
I first came up with the concept for the main character. She was an orphan that nobody wanted(ooh, original!) Her name was Emaleen, which is the perfect name for a little cute brunette orphan. As the story developed, her age changed from 9 to 18, her hair changed from brown to pale blond, and all of a sudden Emaleen wasn't as good a name for her. Luckily I found the name Amaranthine and it matched perfectly.

Names should have nicknames.
That's just my thing. I like long names because they are adaptable and can be cut up into a million little nicknames. Like "Amaranthine" can become Maran, Mara, Amara, or whatever. If it can't change into a nickname, it's lower on my list. "Halliana", my earlier example can become "Halli" or "Ana."

Names should be easily remembered or leave a mark.
If you keep forgetting your main character's name, how do you expect the readers to remember it? If you keep forgetting a name, maybe it's not the right one.

Dician Taina's first name was Rysati Darpis. That's a very interesting name, and I never could remember it. I had to look it up in my early notes before I could remember it and write it here.


Hope this helps with names! 
I have a lot of influence. Mostly from Star Wars and words I find cool. Maybe you'll recognize some of these names. One of my influences: Savannah. "Nyssa" is now on my name list. "Elan" has been on it for some time now, thanks to the priestess Elan from Agents of Chaos: Hero's Trial.


Amaranthine

PS. I have a go-to list of names I haven't used yet(for anything) but will be used at the next opportunity. Names on that list?
 

1. Tricia, Akela, Isis, Iris, Durr-Siti, Annison, and Jolette.

Names recently off that list?
Liadan, Charice, Zahra


A lot of my best names were used up when I named Zahra's seventeen brothers and sisters and their children.


Names I used?
Gavin, Lelan, Tetra, Samya,  Cem, Davin, Torqua, Veema, Chak, Leka, Dasha, Cathia, Teren, Dorv, Celie, Liam, Zahra, Katharine, Lissa, Vieve, Varn, Tilotny(reused), Reza, Lian, Elan, Racci, Lithia, Remela, Melie, Tina, Tash, Zak.



Most of my favorite names are in that list. Not including "Jocell."

2 comments:

  1. I LOVE names! :DD I have a big list too. I spend hours on baby naming websites and name generators. It makes me want to make new characters.
    Nyssa is one of my favorite names ever. Right up there with Romilda (Romi), Cornelia (Cora), Moira (doesn't have a real nickname, but some people shorten it to M), and Eni (the name i made up a long time ago), and Spencer (for a girls name.)
    Nyssa and Eni also happen to be my very favorite role playing characters.

    Are you going to send me Amaranthine anytime soon? Just the first few chapters would be sufficient for now. :)

    PS: The new title works very well!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow. It's been a while. Still lovin' your blog though!

    I love comming up with names for my stories too.

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Amaranthine <3's you. Thanks for the comment!