1. Kratos
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    Kratos Contributing Member

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    Creating a fantasy government: names

    Discussion in 'Fantasy' started by Kratos, Mar 13, 2009.

    I'm working on a fantasy novel (see link in my sig) and I'm trying to make the governments realistic; well, as realistic as magical fantasy can be. :cool:

    The main thing I'm trying to do right now is give people from the same nation similar names, make names of royal houses and familes, and make family trees of the nations, similar to the English Royalty, with all their kings and royal families.

    Does anyone know of any places where I could find such names other than Behindthename? Anyone have any practices they use to name different cultures?

    Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

    -Kratos
     
  2. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ifthey resemble a certain existing culture, I'd take names from that culture and tweak them. e.g. I had a character name Heedoro, which I took from the name Hiiro, and Kenda from the name Kendra. The one thing about fantasy names is that they need to be readable and easy to pronounce. Many writers, when they first start with fantasy, go a little crazy with the names, making them all awkward and hard to pronounce. There is also nothing wrong with giving your characters real names that exist in this world.
     
  3. kyle777
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    kyle777 Member

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    Basically, make the names fit the assigned person's title or, more importantly, their personality. For example, a king would have a name that invokes royalty and a princess would have something light and beautiful. Or if they're an antagonistic family, their names would reflect that part of their archetype. Peruse some stories involving royalty in other worlds. In Eragon, the evil king is named Galbatorix. Do I even need to give an example of a princess name?
    And don't think you have to come up with each and every name. It's entirely plausible to use names from history. They raise the authenticity of that character to another level. Is that what you're aiming at? Are you making up these names, or do you want to use real names?
     
  4. Etan Isar
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    Etan Isar Contributing Member Contributor

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    I can't help you much with historical naming sites, because I rarely use them.

    But if you're making these names up, one simple way to keep them consistent is to create a phonology, or set of sounds, and use those sounds in the names. If you look at the Targaryen names in ASOIAF, they all share a certain set of letters.
     
  5. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    I tend to use Hebrew, Sanskrit, Greek, latin, etc to come up with names.

    But I also make names up, such as Klax and Tulk. Both of them are large aliens, shaped sort of like gorillas.

    I try to think up names that fit the character. Tulk sounds like Hulk.

    I also change names around and come up with news ones like Sitasha, and Klisandra. Or Sanat which is a play on Satan.

    When I do choose foreign words or names, I try to choose ones that are easy to say and have a sound that I believe fits the character.

    Zoba, for a pretty alien girl.
    Utha, Kavi, Bharita, Josa, etc, which are all Sanskrit words.
     
  6. Chime Elf
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    Chime Elf New Member

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    I set a fantasy story in a country/kingdom based on the ancient Middle East. I took the names of places and people in Jordan, Syria, etc, and tweaked them slightly. This gave me authentic-sounding names, and I didn't have to stress over them. You might want to give it a try. Just remember that the names should fit the person/place they name.
     
  7. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    Check the character dev. forum, there's a fairly comprehensive discussion about naming characters there...
     
  8. Nobeler Than Lettuce
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    Nobeler Than Lettuce Contributing Member

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  9. razumikhin
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    razumikhin Member

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    If you wanted to be very pretentious, you could find an online foreign language dictionary, type in a word you think describes your character, and whatever pops out is what you call them :p

    The vast majority of the time it sounds stupid, but occasionally you hit upon something that works.
     

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