1. Inspired writer
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    Inspired writer Member

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    I'm struggling with a good name for a series of planets in a sci-fi piece

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Inspired writer, Feb 20, 2012.

    I've spent hours trying (being the operative word) to come up with a decent name for a series of planets and nothing sounds good. Any suggestions?
    I'm trying to make them sound authentic and original as possible but nothing' ringing any bells. Personally, it's starting to become a little nauseating.
    I'd appreciate any feedback on this.
     
  2. hippocampus
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    hippocampus Active Member

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    How about looking up some real planet and sun names and see if they inspire you? Such as: Epsilon Eridani, Aquarii, Cancri...
     
  3. gillvin
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    gillvin New Member

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    http://seventhsanctum.com/
    This website has served me well when I just can't think of a name or place.
    I hope this helps you as well!
     
  4. NeedMoreRage
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    NeedMoreRage Member

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    http://www.rinkworks.com/namegen/

    I use this name generator a lot. It has a feature that lets you create a template for generating names. I tried it out with the prefix "Tera" and some generic syllables and it gave me some good ideas. I find a good process is just to keep looking through its suggestions and mince names together until you got something you really like.

    Another suggestion I have for Sci-fi planets specifically is this. If you are thinking of a name for Human colonies specifically, look at a lot of city names here on Earth. Cities are not very original when it comes to names, so it is fairly realistic that when we do establish a colony, the name won't be very original. For instance, Columbia is a popular name used for naming settlements and regions. Also think about Greek and Roman mythology, actually, think of most mythology. Mars, Venus, Jupiter, etc, are all named after mythological gods.

    Hope this helps. Coming up with names is an annoying task and usually takes me hours to come up with a tiny list.
     
  5. CheddarCheese
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    CheddarCheese Contributing Member

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    Hi,

    If the planets are being named by humans, it's a good idea to consider what we've named planets in our own solar system. Like the member above me suggested, names from ancient mythology is a good way to go. Additionally, you could always try to name your planets in an uncommon/ancient dialect, like Old Norse or Latin. For example, a planet that receives extraordinary amounts of sunlight could be called "Lux", which is Latin for "light".
     
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  6. Gonissa
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    Gonissa Contributing Member

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    I suggest taking normal words and playing around with them, that way it's something the reader can already say. Like today, I was looking at the word "proverbs" and then I switched it around and took some letters away to become "Brevo". Or you can take longer phrases, like "African American Nonfiction" and shorten it to "Afremnon", "Aframon" or something like that.

    So, you know any foreign languages? If you study some for a while, you're bound to think of plenty cool words.
     
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  7. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    I must respectfully disagree with the name generator suggestions. If you've gotten good stuff from them, then I'm glad it worked for you, but whenever I've tried them I get some name that sounds very Viking/LOTR-ish, and that usually sounds more "forced fantasy" than like actual names.

    I think that the Latin, Roman, etc. names could work, as those are languages that impact a lot of words in real-life. Also, I'm sure the first explorers/founders of the interspace society would impact some of the names. For instance, if a guy named Smith found one of the planets, that planet might be named Smithsonia after him.
     
  8. Immy
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    Immy Member

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    In Stephanie Meyer's 'The Host' she used simple names for the planets like: the seaweed planet & the planet of the bears. Original and simple - your readers don't forget which planet it is.
     
  9. jeffm
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    jeffm Member

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    When thinking about naming things you have to think about what has happening when it would have been named and who would have named it.

    If this is humans naming planets that they explore then that planet WILL have had a name before they got there. Some astronomer somewhere would have named the thing, even if it was a number/letter designation. If this planet was the destination of a planned expedition then there would have been significant scientific work done before they left, and they would have had a designation. If colonized planets are rare then it may have been given a name from mythology as well, but probably only if the planet didn't have an interesting name already.

    The best place to look is at the time-frame when humans last colonized a bunch of places, the expansion to the new world. You end up with names based on older places, or some physical description of the location. New York, Plymouth, Little Rock, are all examples of place names that we had to make up. It is also common for places to be named after the person that discovered it. It would not surprise me to see a planet named after some earth city or term, specially if the explorers were from a single grouping or faith. Think of a number of the cities in Utah that were named based on the Mormon movements in the mid 1800s.

    If this is an established alien world then the name would not be related to anything human. If the name is a human name given to a world named in an alien rouge then it would probably be some mispronunciation of the term that was muddled into the human language, much like "Chicago" is derived from the french misunderstanding the term "shikaakwa" from the native Americans. It actually means "smelly wild garlic".

    Personally some of my favorite fictional planet names are "We Made It" in Niven's known space series, and Planet "Bob" AKA "New Earth" from Titan AE.
     

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