1. Orchid
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    Orchid New Member

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    Help with last names

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Orchid, Jun 15, 2008.

    I have a few good characters with first names, but I can't think of any last names for them. If anyone has any ideas, I would appreciate the help. The story is a bit like Anastasia the movie, same idea; looking for a girl who has been lost for years and has information that will save the country, but that's the only similarity. It's set in a fantasy country a bit like Russia. The first names are:

    Narcissia _______
    Good Human Female

    Adrianna _______
    Good Human Female

    Gabriel ________
    Evil Human Male

    Mickael ________
    Evil Human Male

    Hans _________
    Good Human Male

    Lucas _________
    Good Human Male

    Raina ________
    Evil Fairy Female

    Izabylle ________
    Evil Fairy Female

    There will be more characters in a later post, but for now, just these few. Thanks to anyone who gives feedback!:D
     
  2. Oasis Writer
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    Oasis Writer Contributing Member Contributor

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    Something to keep in mind, since I see a fairy, is that in a fantasy, you can make up names however you want. They can be spelled out however you please, and done however you see fit to.

    For instance, by closing my eyes, and thinking of a character named Hans, I see

    Hans von Uyugo
     
  3. Kratos
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    Kratos Contributing Member

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    What type of last names? Real last names? Fictional last names?

    If they're fictional, you can combine words together, like "Bloodfire", or something like that.

    I often just pick names that sound cool to me, or I take them off of things and places around me. For example, there's an elementary/middle school called Arthur Slade near where I live. I've never particularly liked the school, 'cause a lot of rich kids in my High School went their, but I liked the name. My main character in my book is called Jayson Slade.

    You can always look for fantasy name generators and choose one to be your last name, or you could go to Behind the Surname for some.

    Good luck. :)
     
  4. InkDancer
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    InkDancer Senior Member

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    Also, think about where lots of last names come from. They are usually based around one of the following:

    1) Professions
    2) Physical descriptions
    3) Regional names
    4) Patronyms or Matronyms... that is, the "son of" or "daughter of" style.

    You mentioned the country was a lot like Russia. Here's a resource that might help:

    http://www.foreigndocuments.com/russian_names.html

    Russian names have three parts... the given name, the patronymic, and the surname. That middle name is usually the father's name with a suffix, -ovich/-evich for men and -ovna/-evna for women. (There are exceptions, of course. It's language!)

    Russian often address each other in semi-formal situations with first name + patronymic. The familiar name used between friends and family is usually a nickname of the given name, like "Vova" for Vladimir or "Dolly" for Darya.

    More information than you asked for, but names are a hobby of mine. :)
     
  5. tehuti88
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    tehuti88 Contributing Member

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    I haven't any specific suggestions, especially for the human names, but for some reason when I think of the fairies it seems to me their surnames, if they even have any, shouldn't be like human names. I think of names of natural objects and such; for example, "Raina Thistledown," or "Izabylle Aspenleaves" or something. Sounds kind of tacky, but those were just off the top of my head, I'm sure there are millions of better suggestions. Just think of natural objects, or a descriptive word and then a natural object combined.
     
  6. Trollhammaren
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    Trollhammaren Member

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    It may sound random, but whatever I'm listening to on my iPod, I take some letters from that and get a name, be it first or last. Or I have a lot of drafts for other pieces of writing and stories, so usually I'll nick something out of the archives. ;)
     
  7. BrinkofDawn
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    BrinkofDawn Contributing Member

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    I would also consider looking up some myths for some inspiration. Most of the characters in my story are derived from one myth of some sort, even the creatures.

    Another place to look would be...

    behindthename.com

    or

    babynames.com (it's more than it sounds like. I figured out my name was Arabic from here^^)
     
  8. Orchid
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    Orchid New Member

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    Thank you guys for the help!
     
  9. Archammer
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    Archammer Member

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    I personally have always liked simple nouns for last names, just as an example Charlie Bucket from Charlie and the Chocolate factory. I think they give a good solid down to earth touch to a character and its easy to find an simple object that can symbolize alot of that characters feeling.

    Just try to avoid the super cliche ones, ie. stone.
     
  10. Aurora_Black
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    Aurora_Black Contributing Member

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    Haha I do this too! Its a good method to just get whatever comes to mind, even if it sounds like gibberish and make something of it.

    Get KREEAYTIVE!!!
     
  11. Shizai Ko
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    Shizai Ko New Member

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    There's a site, actually two, 20,000 names and babynology. Those are two good sites for names.
     
  12. Alice_Loves_Hatter
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    Alice_Loves_Hatter Member

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    if it's fantasy names, I usually make anagrams of people around me...
    x.S.x
     
  13. Leo
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    Leo Senior Member

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    I always go on baby name sites, haha. Especially foreign ones like German and Russian to make my characters sound more interesting :D.
     
  14. Liem
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    Liem New Member

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    I have a few tricks I use for names of people and places in fantasy.

    I usually think of two words that describe the person or place and then make the name an anagram of those words, sometimes not using all the letters, sometimes adding a few, it's really just a form of inspiration. This works if you don't have a particular style in mind for the names.

    A similar technique is to simply give the person or place a name that describes it/him/her.

    Another trick is I find a language to base the names off of and then create names with similar spellings and pronunciations.

    The last trick I do is take an ordinary name and change it, or sometimes splice names to create a new one. This is particularly handy when creating names in medieval fantasy.

    Some tips with name-crafting:
    -make sure the names are readable and not overly complicated. As cool as something like Zsnr'Itn'alla-thil may look, it's very distracting and overly complex.
    -try to make the names have similar styles and/or sounds if the characters are from the same area. This is especially true for fantasy races, if you want the races to be distinct, create two very distinct styles of names. Having characters that live in close proximity but with very different names can some times be detrimental.
     
  15. Gannon
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    Gannon Contributing Member Contributor

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    I work with lots of actual Russians - find a list of surnames below that may provide inspiration for Russian-like names:

    Bezhentseva
    Shamsutdinova
    Sychevskiy
    Chuykov
    Pitirimova
    Krasnikov
    Sidorov
    Borisova
    Kolesov
    Bortkevich
    samokhina
    Savina
    Pola
    Lebedeva
    Iglina
    gaydarova
    Zarezin
    Soldatenkov
    Potapov
    Kuskova
    Kolesnikova
    Mariassov
    Mukhamedyarov
    Bakhtov
    Dyakova
    Kotov
    Reprintseva

    Surnames ending in /a/ are typically for females though not always.
     
  16. Chickidy
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    Chickidy Contributing Member

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    My advice is for the humans use Shakespearian prefix naming techniques, something I do in fantasy stories a lot. Mostly just with the protagonist and antagonist if they are human, using the prefix Ben for the good guy, and Mal for the bad guy. Look up a list of prefixes and you have half the work done for you plus some new depth to your character.
     
  17. LitLover88
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    LitLover88 New Member

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    Some of my friends and I were working on a short story assignment a few years ago and decided to use the old "soap opera name" game... So, all our characters were named with each other's "soap opera name." Think of people around you and combine their middle name + street name they live on. Sometimes they end up really simple like "Lynn Jones," other times a little more elegant "Marie Fairbanks or Taylor Wellington." I do this a lot for my characters unless I have some inspired character for a specific story I'm working on.
     

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