1. Some_Bloke
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    Some_Bloke Active Member

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    Stuck on names for two alien races

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by Some_Bloke, Oct 14, 2014.

    For my novel, I've come up with multiple alien races that each play a role in the plot (two species in particular play a major role alongside the humans and one species is the centre of one of the stories). One of my writing techniques for making characters is building that character before putting a name to them and I have tried doing that with species.
    With one species I rearranged letters used in a short description and with another I used a very, very loose translation of a Latin term.

    I'm kinda stuck on as far as names go on these two other species though. As I've been jotting down ideas I've referred to them as "Species X" and "Species Y"

    Species X: Inspired by the Krogan from the Mass Effect series, these large, reptile-like people make great warriors, however they aren't as aggressive as the Krogan. They are also excellent scientists and they are afraid of how much power religion can have over a species due to a dark history involving a tyrant who used religion to rise to power and rule with an iron fist.

    They know how to fight, but they prefer not to in most situations. Their army is impressive but seems weak compared to the army of the antagonist species. The antagonist species relies on sheer numbers to win, while Species X relies on their firepower, armour and endurance against the enemy.

    Species Y: A race of humanoids who evolved from birds. As they are the latest species I've come up with their look is still a work in progress, but their culture is something I've got more material on. They live on the same planet as Species X and prefer not to use guns as some of their species sticks to their tribal roots. Their melee weapons have been enhanced to be able to cut through most metals and in combat they will use guerilla tactics.

    They lost the ability to fly a long time ago due to evolution but many use flightsuits to glide as well as other technology.

    Before the downfall of the tyrant's rule, these two species hated each other and they had to put their differences aside in order for the uprising to work. When they fight side-by side, Species Y will often attack from an angle that leads the enemy into the firing range of species Y.
     
  2. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Hold up, I see your problem here. Do we really need to see a species personal attributes like they're part of an RPG? Is it enough to say, "This race, like humans, succeeds and fails as individuals"?

    Are humans "excellent scientists?" some are. Are we "great warriors"? Some seam to think so. Do we have firepower, armour and endurance? Sure, but I wouldn't say that is part of our culture. I would be less concerned with the attributes of the race as a whole, and write characters instead.

    And the seventh sanctum has a whole section on name generators. I suggest looking at the greek names generator, as it's not actually greek, and can usually throw back some good results.
    http://www.seventhsanctum.com/index-name.php
     
  3. Some_Bloke
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    Some_Bloke Active Member

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    It's not so much how the entire species is, but rather how the rest of the galaxy sees them as a species, what they're credited/known for and what traits many of them like to celebrate about their species. Not all characters that are from either species are going to be "great warriors" or "great scientists" but many of their children would like to be as they are looked up to in that society.

    I wasn't clear about that at all. Sorry.

    There are obviously characters that break that mould. For example, while the antagonist species are deemed quite arrogant and cocky, one of the antagonists (a Captain in their army) is cunning and manipulative. Two characters that belong to species Y use firearms often and dislike the "tribal roots."

    Thank you.
     
  4. FireFlies&ButterFlies
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    FireFlies&ButterFlies Member

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    I did some totally random keyboard typing for you.
    If the words suck and are completely useless- that is definitely my keyboard's fault.

    Goiwerus & Migors
    Opacs & Zeiws
    Soirs & Goisers
     
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  5. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    Gee, I wish I could get my fingers to type random letters!

    The problem that I can see is...how do you pronounce them?

    I recently read a story where a male character was called "Gill". In the UK, Gill (pronounced the same as Jill) is a girl's name (short for Gillian), or it could be short for Gilbert (but I'd expect that to be spelt "Gil"). It put me off all the way through.
     
  6. FireFlies&ButterFlies
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    FireFlies&ButterFlies Member

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    Yeah, I guess when figuring out names you just have to know stuff like that, otherwise it can get you in trouble.

    Typing random for alien species name I thought would make sense, because they are alien and it is supposed to be hard to spell right? :D And english isn't my native language so I might do a very bad job in name generating as I have very little clue of how will the names be spelled.
     
  7. Lancie
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    Lancie Contributing Member

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    If I get really stuck naming something I like to look up words in other languages that might relate to what I'm trying to name or what I want a name to mean. It might be seen as a bit cheesy, but if you want a heroines name to mean light, just for example, I'll have a look in a thesaurus for options and then the equivalents in Japanese, French, Anglo Saxon, Latin- the list of languages is endless. I can then adapt any words I like as I want. It sometimes takes a while but I like looking things up.
     
  8. AlannaHart
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    AlannaHart Contributing Member

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    Just find two uncommon or nice sounding words that describe the species and mash them together.

    Species X is reptilian and prefers not to fight? You could try 'tranquil' and 'herpetological' to make something like Hequilo. Or 'lizard' and 'serene' to make Izene.

    Species Y is birdlike and tribal? You could mix 'aves' and 'tribal' to make Aval, or 'native' and 'pennon' to make Nannove.

    Possibilities are endless with that trick.
     

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