1. AlphaWerewolf10
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    AlphaWerewolf10 Member

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    Character Names?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by AlphaWerewolf10, Dec 16, 2014.

    I have this idea for a fantasy novel set in a more medieval setting. Its a world of my own creation, but I don't know how to go about character names. My main character's name is Garrett (no clue on a last name yet). That seems fairly medieval enough, but i don't know how to go about other names.
    So, any tips for creating good names for a non-modern setting? Or can I really just go with anything (Garrett's best friend is named Cory right now because he's a leftover from the modern version of the story I was going to try).
     
  2. Lancie
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    Lancie Contributing Member

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    I personally like to stay within a cultural group for names. With fantasy I think there's more scope to try different names but ultimately it's all got to fit together and build a picture of your world/setting. I like to have a rummage around the site 20'000 names, they have allsorts.
     
  3. Flying Geese
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    Flying Geese Contributing Member

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    Well it sounds like you took the name "Garrett" but you want to create the other names yourself?

    I do try to keep the names sounding like they are coming from the same culture, but I actually noticed that this doesn't seem as jarring if you create a world that is so diverse/different that it is commonplace for people to have different sounding names. Well, I'm only thinking of Final Fantasy when I say that.

    When I name my characters (which other people say I'm great at), their name must match their personality, character or something significant that they do in the story. This is something I never compromise on. Names are important. They are how your readers/viewers remember the story.

    Why don't you list the character names you have now, with a prominent attribute beside their name? That helps me a lot.
     
  4. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    My WIP is in the same general area. I took Harold as a name, one anagram later he was Haldor. Sounds OK to me. Job done. Edith became Hadith, Godwin became Wingos, etc.

    You can research mediaeval names (or the Old Testament is great!) and use only those but, for fantasy, you can use what you like...what sounds good to you.
     
  5. Michael Pless
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    Michael Pless Active Member

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    I don't know if I'm right or not, but when I last read one particular author, I got the impression she had taken a regular Anglo-Saxon name and either added or changed one letter to make something familiar but different. For example, "Paul" can become "Prul".

    The name Garrett... wasn't that the main character in the early Belgarion series? I can't recall if it was that or some other novel by a major author.

    I like Shadowfax's idea of anagramming "regular" names too.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2014
  6. AlphaWerewolf10
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    AlphaWerewolf10 Member

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    I don't actually have any names decided yet.
    And what do you mean I "took" the name Garrett? I decided on the name because there was a kid in my class back in high school with that name and I always thought it'd be a good name for the MC of a book. I didn't "steal" it.

    And yeah, the anagram idea is interesting. I've done that before with location names in an older novel I wrote.
     
  7. AccidentalHermit
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    AccidentalHermit New Member

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    Actually the main character is Garion (and the series is the Belgariad.) The name Garrett always sounds really similar to Derek to me.
     
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  8. Korizan
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    Korizan Member

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    When I create a name, I try to match it with the characters personalities. Garrett is a good medieval, but if you are creating a personal fantasy world, names of characters don't need to be necessary matching the setting. the only thing you should keep in mind, is try to avoid boring and repetitive name like Alexander, David, Peter, ect.
     
  9. theoriginalmonsterman
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    theoriginalmonsterman Pickle Contest Administrator Contributor

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    You could always use my Dungeons & Dragons roleplay name Gallaway. Sounds pretty medieval to me.
     
  10. Flying Geese
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    Flying Geese Contributing Member

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    Calm down, bro. When I said took, I didn't mean that you stole it. Believe it or not, I also know someone named Garrett. It's a common enough name. I meant it was a name you didn't invent. Thats all
     
  11. AlphaWerewolf10
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    AlphaWerewolf10 Member

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    Ah okay. Sorry. Overreacted i guess.
     
  12. Hwaigon
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    Hwaigon Contributing Member Reviewer

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    I surface-read and stopped at "My main character's name is Garrett"; the MC in The Thief game series is called Gared or suchlike. It, too, takes place in a fictitious medieval universe. So if you're interested in my opinion, I'm against it.
     
  13. Gigi_GNR
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    Gigi_GNR Guys, come on. WAFFLE-O. Contributor

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    I like this idea a lot, especially taking Old Testament names. Definitely adds the seriousness and the realness - you could make up names on the spot, but the last time I read a book with that, it was under heavy duress and the name was "Renesmee," so. :rolleyes:
     
  14. Ralinde
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    Ralinde Member

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    Don't know if it will help but I recently read on the DA website about how J.R.R. Tolkin used to select his names. He was fascinated by language and the beauty of it. He would listen to words and create names from them. Eg: Cellar Door he could develop into a name like Selador and so on. Hope that may help. :)
     
  15. Revanchist
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    Revanchist Member

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    I usually try anagrams, mixing random words, flipping words backward, browsing, latin translations, merging words with verbs, even if they don't necessarily have to look like an original word, etc. It takes time for it to work for me, but I'm usually pleased. I often do a chain of connections which only makes sense to me.

    For example, a character's trait is beauty. Flowers, trees, nature is beautiful. I browse around titles for those that I like and I play with words. I found that there is no specific formula for name making, otherwise they wouldn't be unique names, at least when I do that. It takes me a while to get a good name, I'm picky. At one point I just write random names that are stupid and silly, then after a day or two I look at them and see if I like any. Whichever you choose though, it's fine because repeating it sort of makes it more acceptable. I named a race and thought it sucked, but after writing a short story about them I'm like "Damn that's a cool name, I wouldn't have any other :D"
     
  16. AlphaWerewolf10
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    AlphaWerewolf10 Member

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    God, I know exactly what you are talking about. She needs to be slapped for that one. On a different note, it is funny because I was thinking of going Old Testament with names. The name of the main city in the story is placeholder called Gracys. I just took the word Grace and knocked off the E, and then added YS. I was going to use IS but YS looked a little better to me.
    Not sure if I'll keep it Gracys or not. It just popped into my head one day and I was like "I like this". So we'll see how it goes as I write. It is easy enough to change the name.
     

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