1. Lord Loss
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    Lord Loss New Member

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    Fantasy Worlds

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by Lord Loss, Nov 18, 2008.

    How do you come up with your fantasy world's name? I am having a hard time with deciding on a name. I had one in mind but it just sounded wrong in the story...
     
  2. Marcelo
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    Marcelo Contributing Member

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    Well, you can do what I do, the results always sound fine to me. Use language translators, I recommend you translate two words; whatever the words are, translate each one into a different language. Then break the words so that you can combine them. Or you can just translate a word into any other language and change it until it fits. Through those two methods I got the names for my World and Continent: Starna and Misdir respectively. Hope it helps! :D
     
  3. Asuran
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    Asuran Member

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    This should depend on the world. If it is written in an Earthly language (I assume it is), I would just find a word for it. Or, if there is some sort of language that exists only in your world, maybe it would be fitting to find a word for it there. If the story is written in English, try finding a word in English that represents what the people view it as or the characteristics of that world. I would avoid simply making up a word.
     
  4. Ice
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    Ice Member

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    I prefer natural names -- by that I mean non-made-up-words. One of my worlds is named the Cradle (of Civilization). Another is the Five Seas. David Anthony Durham named his world the "Known World." I think that's a really good one because I can imagine people referring to their realm as just that: the Known World. But if you do it that way, just make sure the name isn't already taken. I bet Durham isn't the only one who has named his world the "Known World."
     
  5. Marcelo
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    Marcelo Contributing Member

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    Yeah, those names are particularly good when trying to give the world's name an archaic touch.
     
  6. Marcelo
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    Marcelo Contributing Member

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    By the way, in my other story I'm using that kind of place-naming. Any suggestions? I was going to use The County, but discovered it is already in use.
     
  7. Nilfiry
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    Nilfiry Contributing Member

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    Name your world Almateria! It comes from the latin for Nurturing and Substance/Material. It's also an awesome song.
     
  8. Marcelo
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    Marcelo Contributing Member

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    Yes, Almateria sounds really good. Not only because of what it means in latin, but because Alma means soul in spanish, and materia means matter (of like, what we are composed of) which could translate into soul matter, in which case matter could mean earth. Also, the latin meaning of nurturing can easily fit your fictional world if, for example, there are magic-users who get their energy from the earth. The world would be nurturing their powers. I know, a bit long but lately I've had this tendecy to ramble on...
     
  9. Lord Loss
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    Lord Loss New Member

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    Thanks everyone. :)

    I have found another name however, it sounds cool and it fits in the fantasy theme I believe.

    World: Asmórdar
    Land (or country this war is in): Valdemúr
     
  10. King of the Kong
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    King of the Kong New Member

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    What I always do is put a few random words into a translator for Latin, it gets really cool names of places. Also, did you get Lord Loss from the Darren Shan books? They are fantastic.
     
  11. Lord Loss
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    Lord Loss New Member

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    Yep :p

    Darren Shan is my favorite author and has sparked my interest in writing. :D
     
  12. tehuti88
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    tehuti88 Contributing Member

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    (I haven't read the other replies, so sorry if this already came up.)

    Maybe you should write about your fantasy world for a while, perhaps substituting "X" for its name, until you get to know it better and come up with a name that just fits (based on culture, terrain, history, language, whatever). Coming up with a name and THEN writing about it might make the name fit awkwardly or not at all. The best names are those that go along with the personality of what they're describing, and the best way to learn your world's personality is to write it.

    My two main fantasy worlds are ancient Kemet and Manitou Island. The first is a real name (Egypt), just a fantasy version; the place the gods live in is called Celestial Kemet simply because that's what it is. I took that name from reality. "Manitou Island" comes from the mythology I write about in that storyline as well--"Manitou" means spirit in Ojibwa (the mythology I'm using), and it's set on an Island filled with spirits, so, "Manitou Island" it is. Simple as that.

    I used to write stories set in fantasy worlds that I gave weird names and on looking back at them, I find the names trite, silly, and ill fitting; very obviously made up on the spot, without any foreknowledge of the world in question. Nowadays I'd probably put a lot more thought into such things.
     
  13. lipton_lover
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    lipton_lover Contributing Member

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    Accents make great fantasy names perfect.
     
  14. Etan Isar
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    Etan Isar Contributing Member Contributor

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    Do those accents mean anything, or are they just there to look pretty? Also, does it matter if a reader will be able to pronounce that word? As a note, variants of "Valdemur" are already in use in at least one or two known works.

    And out of plain curiousity, what do those names mean, if anything?
     
  15. Ice
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    Ice Member

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    Marcelo, I'd say you should consider whether your world is similar to any real-world regions/nations, modern or historical. My "Cradle" heavily resembles the Arabian Nights, which took place largely in Mesopotamia, the Cradle of Civilization. "Five Seas" isn't so much historical as geographical: It's a collection of islands, archipelagos, whatever you want to call them, and their geographical arrangement sort of divides the encompassing ocean into five sections.

    Then again, sometimes I just name a place something that I think sounds cool. One mountain range is called the Starless Spires. It popped into my head and I thought it had a good ring to it, so I used it. Then I considered how the people of that land gave them their name. I decided that the mountains were so tall that they blotted out a lot of the sky. Someone traveling in their shadow would see nothing more than a mass of rock and snow rising endlessly toward the heavens.

    If you really like "the County," I suggest you use it. It's a common word and it doesn't ring a bell, so I'm assuming whatever author has already put it into use is pretty obscure, in which case you won't be called a copycat. I mean, it's like deciding not to use "the Empire" because George Lucas and Christopher Paolini already snatched it.

    Lipton-lover, have you read R. Scott Bakker's books? I gotta say, there's some great accent usage there. Anasûrimbor Kellhus, Jiünati Steppe, Moënghus, Serwë -- man, those are good. And of course there's Tolkien ...

    I don't use accents because they're a nuisance to add on anything other than a Mac, which has some preassigned hotkeys for them. Also, I have some strange sort of OCD that tells me I shouldn't be using them because they're not really meant for the English language. And some authors butcher them sooo much that just thinking about them leaves a bad taste in my mouth. These guys fall under the same category as the ones who insist on using y instead of i and like to insert apostrophes at three-letter intervals in their characters' names for no particular reason. Cultural and/or linguistic significance is one thing, but Mah'Name'a'Bo'rat makes my eyes bleed.
     
  16. Marcelo
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    Marcelo Contributing Member

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    Tehuti, I'm curious. :)
    I like to read about folklore, history and particularly mythology sometimes in my free times, and I've never heard of Ojibwa. Is it like, Egyptian mythology? I want to know so that I can give it a read, because I also use one mythology as the basis for my stories (Celtic Mythology, Irish Folklore).
     
  17. Lord Loss
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    Lord Loss New Member

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    They are there to look pretty. (And the Old Norse has it and the names are from the langauge...so why not put them in?)

    Asmórdar - the dar part was taken from Fuldarr from the Old Norse language which means land. And Asm was taken from Ásmarr from the Old Norse language which Asm means God.

    Valdemúr - Val was taken from valley. D was added to fit in. Emu means protector in Old Norse and I added the r to make it look better.

    I did not know Valdemúr was used already. Will I have to change it?
     
  18. Ice
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    Ice Member

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    Be careful. If a Latin scholar comes across a character whose name means Cookie Dough in English, you're in trouble :D
     
  19. Nilfiry
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    Nilfiry Contributing Member

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    No, same names occur pretty often so you shouldn't worry about it. Besides, there's no copyright laws on this kind of naming.
     
  20. Lord Loss
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    Lord Loss New Member

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    Oh cool, thank you.
     
  21. Marcelo
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    Marcelo Contributing Member

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    Well, my world is called 'Weald', and it supposedly was part of our own world once, but drifted away. I'm using names like Norwich, Fayestone and Oakfort to name the cities, because I just love how they sound.
     
  22. Ice
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    Ice Member

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    Weald ... awesome name! Sounds very Anglo-Saxon.
     
  23. Lord Loss
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    Lord Loss New Member

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    I guess I might lead this to a general fantasy naming topic lol.

    Does anyone have a list or something like a list of all the evil sides of things names. Such as Paolini and Lucas used The Empire as their evil side. I am trying to create a name but I cannot find a good one, I am tempted to use the Empire, but I won't. Or if anyone can help me with creating a name for the evil side that would be cool.

    Edit: I forgot the good side lol. I would like some examples of the good side names such as the Varden for the Eragon books.

    Thank you.
     
  24. Etan Isar
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    Etan Isar Contributing Member Contributor

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    Nothing against Lucas, but I would be careful using Paolini as an example. The name you choose depends on what you want it to convey. First, what is your "bad" side like? What distinguishes it from all the other antagonists out there? Is it a person, a group of people, a country, a religion, and empire, some natural force, a god, etc?

    Ditto the above questions for the protagonists side.

    For some specific examples: Mercedes Lackey had a "good" country named "Valdemar". She had a "good" group called "The Heralds".

    Really, you need to come up with this name. If you can't do it on your own, it is possible that you have not developed the thing you are naming to a sufficient degree.
     
  25. Ice
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    Ice Member

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    Valdemar sounds kind of evil IMO.
     

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