1. Revanchist
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    Revanchist Member

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    How do you name the main fantasy character?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Revanchist, Nov 10, 2014.

    I have a bit of a problem. I have a handful of main characters which I absolutely adore and surprisingly they sort of inspire me even though I haven't created them fully. But the naming part is a bitch (too much?).

    I managed to name the main character but my issue is naming the bad guy. He's kind of like the Voldemort in Harry Potter. I need a name that has to be powerful, unique, simple and easy on the tongue. Your regular Joe or Bob won't suffice, no offense to anyone. Can you imagine Voldemort being called Michael or Steve? Even the cool ones!"

    "We must defeat Christopher! - Harry! Don't speak his name!" - I'm not feeling it.
    I don't feel a super strong connection to any other characters but this is one of those characters who demands special attention. You know what I mean? Like you have to be really proud of the name you've created because that's exactly what the character has to show. How do you guys do it?

    I've tried looking through a latin dictionary, didn't have many good results but I may dig through again. I tried online, thinking of my own words etc. but I just can't get the feel right.

    (Come to think of it other main characters can provoke fear and sometimes they've been named Eric or President Snow (I :love: the winter!). Maybe I should focus less on the name and more on the presentation fo the character BUT I cannot do that if I am personally not satisfied with the name.

    It's so odd cause I really feel like I have to treat my characters with luxury and really work hard on creating them. I think I would feel like I would need to be slapped if I didn't want to work on it.
    You know what I mean? I really hope I'm not sounding crazy haha

    So yeah, how do you chose main characters in fantasy?
     
  2. DeviouSquirrel
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    DeviouSquirrel Member

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    I picked a language (Gaelic and latin for Clerical Error, my current WIP) and translated words relating to what the character is about into the language until I found something that sounded good. I played about with the names and stuff but getting the general style was really helpful for me. Translating into Gaelic was really interesting. Worth a shot? I typed in things like ice, cold, frost, freeze for my evil cold sort of character, and warm, hot, calm, protect, heat, love for my main good character until I found one that fit.

    Just an idea to play about with :)

    Leah
     
  3. Revanchist
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    Revanchist Member

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    I really like that. I'll try with different languages. I did the same for latin that way. I even tried doing anagrams of certain features of the character and I managed to actually pick a unique one I liked. I'm glad I'm not the only one doing that :)
     
  4. EllBeEss
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    EllBeEss Contributing Member

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    Focus more on the character and the story. Give him any old name for now, you can always come back and change it when you find something that fits.
    When it comes to naming my characters I just run with the first thing that pops into my head and then change it when I find something better. I use baby name sites or just play with words until I find something I like.
     
  5. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    You've obviously never watched Twin peaks.
     
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  6. Nilfiry
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    Nilfiry Contributing Member

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    Combine random syllables that you like.
     
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  7. Lilly James Haro
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    Lilly James Haro The Grey Warden

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    I do the same as the person above, think of random syllables and see how they sound together
     
  8. Revanchist
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    Revanchist Member

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    Yes I'll definitely do that in the long run, I find that I worry about the names so much I occasionally stop writing just to think of a name which kills my inspiration.

    Wow that's so simple I just took it for a test run and thought of a good name immediately haha, thank you very much :)
     
  9. Alexz7272
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    Alexz7272 Member

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    You should look at some Slavic names! Not only do we apparently sound angry when we speak Slavic languages, most of our traditional names are rather masculine and 'gruff' by western standards. I've never been a true fan of creating your own names, but you can also always pick a name you like and then play around with a few letters to get it to sound as you like. Do not count out researching old Pagan gods as well, especially those from ancient times. If you ever need help with Slavic names, born and raised in the USSR, more then happy to help!
     
  10. Keitsumah
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    Keitsumah The Dream-Walker Contributor

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    I usually take two words or a phrase and bend it into one word. An example of that is my own villain: Arrcafah. I got his name by playing around with the words "Arch Fang".
     
  11. Joe King
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    Joe King Member

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    I do the same as a lot of the above, mess around looking through different languages with a certain theme in mind based on what the character is like, or even just interesting words that might be translated into a cool sounding name that might fit. Maybe try saying some words backwards and see what it sounds like, you could tinker with something like that, who knows what you might come up with.
     
  12. Revanchist
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    Revanchist Member

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    I tried doing anagrams but doing the backwards thing is definitely something to add to that. I mean technically it is an anagram as well heh.

    I'm familiar with Slavic names quite a bit, and I'll definitely take that into account when choosing one. I know people say that I should just choose an already created name but I'm weird that way, I adore creating something unique that I actually like :)
     
  13. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Good suggestions so far. I tend to approach the name issue by thinking what the character's parents would call him/her, or if s/he named herself, what would s/he choose and why.

    Just make sure you come up with a name that is fairly intuitive to pronounce, and also, check that it doesn't mean anything rude in other languages. :D
     
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  14. Slade Lucas
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    Slade Lucas Member

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    I like to make up my character's names so that they reflect the character. An example - one of my characters is called "Anassi" which I got by playing around with the word assassin a bit. Another is called Farof because he is a fathering character. Another is called Eswin, a name I came up with because I thought he was such a despicable character that I could only really describe him as being swine. And so my names have formed from there.

    Even when I played around with real names they all had some connection to the character's personality (or, in the case that I am thinking of, the power the character possessed). For example, someone who could control water had the name Will (changed from Walter because it really didn't sound like a hero's name).

    But sometimes I just find a name which fits and I can't explain why. For my current story, when I was coming up with names, I just suddenly thought of the name Aaron and I can't explain why but it just worked. Sometimes you just need to play around a bit and just find a name which works.
     
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