1. Domino355
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    Domino355 Contributing Member

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    Difficulty With Creating Names

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Domino355, May 11, 2014.

    Hey as the title implies, whenever I write stories I find it very difficult to write names. In my head my character is usually extremely thought out, but almost always nameless.
    Currently I'm begining a fantasy novel (my first) which is based manly in a multi-cultural city. The city itself is a mixture of asian (Japanese Hindi - in its beliefs and magic) and europian (in its appearance and culture), and they have residents from across that continent, so I don't know which languadge to base my names on, especially since it's a fantasy world where I don't see real names working
     
  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    This site might help:
    http://www.behindthename.com/names/list.php
    I've used it to look for a proper ethnic Arabic name for a character.
     
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  3. matt_kicking
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    matt_kicking Member

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    Try the random name generator on Seventh Sanctum here http://www.seventhsanctum.com/index-name.php
    There's a few different options depending on your genre etc, and you can choose between male/female
     
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  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    when i'm stumped on choosing a name, i just grab my phone book and start browsing...
     
  5. Lea`Brooks
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    I often gravitate towards names that have a meaning relating to my character. I'll search for names that mean strong or deceptive, and pick from that list.
     
  6. matt_kicking
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    matt_kicking Member

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    If I did that I'd end up with a character named Decepticon :(
     
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  7. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    :rofl: I did write a short story once about a butt ton of different nymphs. I ended up having a flower nymph named Fleur... lol It worked out though.
     
  8. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    I think that's the accepted method of naming Sith Lords.
     
  9. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Don't over think it and keep it fairly simple. There's nothing worse than fantasy names where you can't even guess a gender, or those blinking apostrophes, or something unpronounceable.
     
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  10. Alix465
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    Alix465 Banned

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    If you’re tired of using common names in your stories, you’ve come to the right place. This article will teach you how to make up unique names as well as where to search for interesting and uncommon ones.
     
  11. Nooshi
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    Nooshi Member

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    I have a book filled with names. Nameberry is really good too- it's run by the same people who wrote the book I own. I love randomly picking a page and trying to build a story around the strangest name on the page. I'm a bit addicted- I keep the book in my handbag.
     
  12. Pandemonia
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    Pandemonia Member

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    It would be difficult if not impossible to generate a name that suggests both Asian and European influences because Asian and European languages have entirely different linguistic roots. If you really wanted to, you would have to go all the way back to the ancient Indo European Aryan (<--not the Nazi version).
     
  13. Domino355
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    Domino355 Contributing Member

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    The languadge is asian, so all the names are as well. The culture and way of life is more medival europian
     
  14. Pandemonia
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    Pandemonia Member

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    Then look up some examples of actual Indian or Japanese place names and make composites by combining parts of different names together, like Mangalipur or Sekkonbashi.
     
  15. Domino355
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    Domino355 Contributing Member

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    Thanks. Some of my names were in fact English words that have a connection to the character translated to Japanese (with some minor changes). I decided to go mainly Japanese because I think it's a good mixture of asian culture (the japanese religion) and is rather similar in sosiety to Europe (feudalism)
     
  16. Domino355
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    Domino355 Contributing Member

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    And the name sites helped me a lot. Thanks
     
  17. Mook
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    Mook New Member

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    Another possible search might be for brandable domain names, like those on http://www.brandbucket.com .
     
  18. HelloThere
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    HelloThere Contributing Member

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    There's been like three or four threads on creating names recently...
     
  19. Pandemonia
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    Pandemonia Member

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    btw the Hindi word for magic is "Jadu" and the Japanese word is "Majuku".
     
  20. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    This is the second time so I'm gonna come out and say it...

    It's "language" - not "languadge" - that extra D drives me NUTS. Sorry :D

    And it's "European".

    Okay grammar nazi is happily asleep again. :D

    Names... Your best bet is really just to start writing and list them. At some point a name pops out and you know it's just right, or at least after a while you realise the name really fits. I start thinking about what I want the thing or person to be associated with, and think along those lines.

    So maybe think about what you want your character to represent, or what they're like, or the meaning you want their name to hold, and start thinking along those lines like a spider diagram until you see something you like.

    Sometimes I use Google translate too and then merge different roots of the same word from different languages.

    But sometimes these things just take time. My MC went through 4 name changes before I settled on Will. Mine's fantasy too - I don't think you necessarily need all made-up names depending on how you write it.

    My friend has a habit of picking actual words and turning them into names, and they're quite pretty. Two of her characters are Cascade and Essence. You could do that too.
     

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