1. Des_Maca
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    Des_Maca Member

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    Mineral name.

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by Des_Maca, Oct 14, 2010.

    I'm currently writing a science fiction novel. I need a name for a mineral that is a key component in my story. This seemingly harmless mineral is actually quite potent. This mineral has many uses. In its raw for it emits weak electromagnetic pulse which can produce unexpected effects on the brain. The main reason for mining such mineral is for weaponry and space flight. All I ask of you is a decent name.
     
  2. Dante Dases
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    Dante Dases Contributing Member Contributor

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    How about researching mineral properties in real life? Use something that already exists and has untapped potential. Don't just rely on making stuff up, if you want it to be believable.
     
  3. Des_Maca
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    Des_Maca Member

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    I should have clarified; I apologize.
    The mineral is a direct product of a major even in my story. I was thinking of adding the basic "idte", or "ial" suffixes that are common associated with minerals/elements. The region where the mineral is exclusively is named Soval.

    I just feel naming the mineral after the region to be somewhat of a cop out.
     
  4. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    mine is fantasy so I just took a word from another culture that described it and tagged ore onto the end of it. Mine only occurs on one small island - maybe looking up useful in other languages and finding a word you like?
     
  5. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    90% of real scientific names are copouts like that. Unless they go right back into antiquity they're almost always named after who discovers them or where they were found.
     
  6. Des_Maca
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    Des_Maca Member

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    Thank you for your responses.
    The event that resulted in most of the region to be covered in this mineral is the major event that happens prior to the story. I want a mineral name that has a sense of dread. I want the name to evoke fear into refuges that travel back into the region. I had an idea about naming it after monsters that were old bedtime stories or myths. Something that was rooted into the memories of those who return to Soval. Is this idea ok?
     
  7. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Why not use one of the beasts? or maybe even an old word for devil, hell or beast. Could always give it a number with meaning 666 is probably too obvious but sure there are others. Could be it be called Brimstone?

    De'il is the old Scots I called my sea the De'il Sea to keep it obscure for most people. But it also indicates all is not well there. All the seas in my created world use old names for the devil somehow.
     
  8. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    What would be a better thing would be to make a nerdy science name something the reader can learn to dread. I mean, think of "depleted uranium" - instant shudder at the thought of it getting anywhere near people, but if you look at the word in of itself, there's nothing inherently frightening.

    Just... find a way to make it so that the mere mention of it makes the reader shudder to think.

    If it's being used for good stuff like spaceships, maybe even give it a happy, positive-sounding name, so that it gets a double edge of sinisterness on top of that.
     
  9. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Or call it Sovalite and give it a folktale everyday name
     
  10. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    No, please don't do this. This sounds heavy handed at best and corny at worst. I cringe when I hear these kinds of names in science fiction.

    Someone has already pointed out that in modern times, substances have a strong tendency to be named after the person who discovered or first scientifically described the substance. This even opens avenues for back story on the person who did the discovery, how they found it, what was the effect, blah, blah, blah.

    Calling your substance something like (example, only) forbiddium which was discovered on the planet Forbid in the Forbidden Sector is... well, it makes me cringe.
     
  11. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    We have a winner. Choose that! Choose that!:)

    Yep, that sort of thing is genuinely horrible.

    Something with an X or Z prominent. That trick will tend to to a give it a (very thin) sheen of futurity. A happy staple of sci-fi I think.
     
  12. Des_Maca
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    Des_Maca Member

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    I didn't exactly plan on its common name to be something the reader will pick up right away. Only a few members in the story will be refuges from Soval. Maybe I could lead on that the mineral's common name has a meaning to them.
     
  13. Lee Shelly
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    Lee Shelly Member

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    What if you came up with another phrase for depleted? Like, dead sovalite, as opposed to active sovalite? Or the guy who discovered it has kind of a creepy name? Or you take creepy words and play with them until they're only a hint of their original meaning? Abysilite, for example. Cadavrite. Agonite.

    Pick one, and mix up a couple letters and add -ite to the end.
     
  14. Des_Maca
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    Des_Maca Member

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    You actually gave me an idea. Thank you so very much.
     

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