1. kiki-snow
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    kiki-snow New Member

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    Naming a group in fantasy fiction.

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by kiki-snow, Jan 29, 2016.

    Bit of a backstory: I love the witcher, game of thrones and the wanderer.
    I am writing a high fantasy series with the aim of getting published.
    Question : what do I name a group of beast hunters / slayers, basically monster hunters who hunt and kill dragons/syrens/basilisk and occasionally people (possibly for a bit of coin or food)?
    Really need some inspiration.
     
  2. Holden LaPadula
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    Holden LaPadula Member

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    I am personally not a fan of complicated names for everything, especially in fantasy. My opinion is probably of the minority, and you may very well disagree with me, but I prefer simple. Everything seems to have a complicated name such as the Brotherhood Winternight Templar Seekers. It gets tiring. I'd name your group something simple-yet-thought-provoking... Perhaps even ironic. All in order to avoid clichés. In my novel I have a group of children who are made to wear masks and scare people in the woods in order to raise hysteria. I named them Call Girls, because you think of prostitutes but they're really just girls being called for their purpose. Makes it eerie. Pick an everyday term or phrase that either intensifies or subdues what they do. Such as the Beggars, because they want some coins, but instead they'll kill for it. I hope this helps, it's fine if you completely disagree!! :D
     
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  3. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree with the above. There's no real reason to make names complicated. Keep it simple. Something a reader might recognize, but that they'll also only associate with your book.

    Take GoT for example. Their names are so simple, it's actually kind of silly when you look at it. Their cities are named King's Landing (where the king lives), Winterfell (where snow falls regularly), and the Eyrie (which is defined as a bird's nest built into a cliff). Even their group names. Night's Watch (cause they watch for trouble at night), the Faceless Men (who can change their appearance), and the Kingsguard (because obviously).

    So my advice to you... A thesaurus will be your friend. The people you described are essentially bounty hunters, but that's boring right? So go to a thesaurus and look up a word for bounty and a word for hunter and make up your own. Or just a simple term. The Slayers. The Hunters. You can even use their appearance to describe them if there's something they have in common, just like the Night's Watch were often called crows because they wore all black.

    Anyway. Good luck. :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2016
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  4. kiki-snow
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    kiki-snow New Member

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    Thank you for your replies. I was going for a simple name, just didn't know where to look out get ideas. Thank you.
     
  5. LostThePlot
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    LostThePlot Contributing Member

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    Look to our own history for how names form. We all know who 'The Templars' are but their official name was Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon; a dreary name come up with out of political necessity (to seem very humble and poor) that history barely remembers. Even in well regarded histories we just talk about Templars.

    So first course of action - Come up with a complex name for them; something that fits their mythos. Then think about what a peasant might corrupt that in to. If they were (say) Wardens Of The Forests And Trails then that might become 'Trailers' or 'Trail-Knight'.

    When you are a clearly defined group like that you often end up being given a name almost by default. Wardens and Foresters are already people in their community so the only word up for grabs is the last one. That's literally exactly what happened to the Templars. 'The Temple' is the place where they were originally formed and nothing to do with their function at all. If all your guys are from one place, or train at one place then that might be what the peasants think of them as. To them every 'knight from over there' might appear to be a part of your group because they've never met anyone else from there.
     
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  6. Cattlebruiser
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    Cattlebruiser Member

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    Look at Warcraft. They chose "druids" who were actually a society of sorts, and made that a branch of magic.
    Pretty cool!
     
  7. zoupskim
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    zoupskim Contributing Member Contributor

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    Think of Game of Thrones and the Night Watch's nickname: Crows. The name invokes a certain image. A black, cruel looking animal perched on a wall, fence, or tree. Sometimes it's alone, sometimes there are many. But no matter the number, they always seem to be doing the same thing. Watching, waiting, crying out occasionally, but overall just sitting quietly, brooding. They almost seem like a shadow of a creature, more a prop than a living thing.
     
  8. zoupskim
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    zoupskim Contributing Member Contributor

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    Eaters
     
  9. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    Oh, how fun.
    For one of my projects, I got inspired by the idea that witcher's winter in Kaer Morhen.
    I think there's something romantic about beast hunters who only come during the summer and live out their winters in warmth and safety far from the world they spend their lives saving.
     
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  10. IlaridaArch
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    IlaridaArch Active Member

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    You are like me. I think their winter break is such a great touch to witchers. Andrzej Sapkowski has a reason to be Poland's national treasure, as polish people describe. :)
     
  11. Greenwood
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    Greenwood Active Member

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    This was pretty much what I was going to suggest.

    Take the order of the Teutonic Knights for example. Their offical name was: Ordo domus Sanctæ Mariæ Theutonicorum Hierosolymitanorum. The order of the German House of Holy Mary in Jerusalem. That's a name no one is going to speak out anywhere. They simply became the Teutonic Knights, or even the German Knights probably.

    I would say keep it simple, but devise something more official and deeper behind it, which might be brought up in some phase of the story.
     
  12. halisme
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    halisme Contributing Member Contributor

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    Mercenaries.

    Though if you're going to name a group of them, here are my tips.

    1. What geography was around the point they were formed or currently train? They might take the name of the local river, or possibly a hill.

    2. If you feel the urge to put the words "dark", "edge" or "blade" in there, slap yourself on the wrist.

    3. What was the founder of the group called?

    4. Is there a tool or symbol that they uniquely use?

    5. Look up the Yorkshire accent. Try picturing the group name being said in it. This is a good way of seeing what it might get corrupted to.
     
  13. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Yeah, except that predates Warcraft by quite some time (D&D, for example, and a lot of Warcraft influence comes straight out of Warhammer, which also predates it by quite a bit).
     

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